This past week, I was reminded of my time in Middle Tennessee. I remember all of the wonderful friends I made there and the children I was blessed to teach. I remember reading a book with my students called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The main character in this novel was Okonkwo, and he was known as the King of Yams in his heyday. He had several wives and children and the means to care for them. At some point, however, Okonkwo fell on hard times and lost everything except his life. He grieved the loss of his wealth and seemed inconsolable as he traveled back to his mother’s home. One of his uncles reminded him that he wasn’t the greatest sufferer. That’s tough love for a guy who has just lost everything, but sometimes tough love is exactly what we need to put things in perspective and to stop wallowing in self pity.
It’s been more than 10 years since I first read that book, and that message has echoed in my head many times over the years. We complain about everything under the sun; yet, we are not the greatest sufferers. I realize that life is hard sometimes. Just this past week, the enemy threw everything at me that he could think of, but I’m still here to write about it and give glory to God for fighting my battles — especially those that I’m unaware of — those he fought as I slept
Like Okonkwo, I traveled down South to visit my family — a place of comfort where I gain strength from all those I encounter in this small town. We have problems here, just like any other town, but we also have lots of love. I rely on the long conversations in the grocery store, the hugs in the parking lot, and the invitations to dinner. They restore my soul and strengthen me for whatever the enemy tries to throw out next.
I’ve learned that God positions me wherever he needs me to go, and when he knows I need a break, he gently draws me close into the safety of his arms. You see, the saying is true. He won’t give you more than you can handle. He always equips us to do the work he has assigned us, and he sends us many resources to support us. There will never be a time when he is insufficient. God is always enough.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. ~ Psalm 4:8
No matter where you go in search of comfort and safety, know that God has led you there and is with you there. Even if you feel as if he’s a million miles away, just call on him. He’s closer than your next breath. May blessings abound! ❤