Sometimes the smell of a dead rat from downstairs in the garbage room fills my nostrils. So thick is the smell that it seems I can almost taste it. Makes me almost wish the rodent hadn't died. But then that rat would be scurrying all over the house, eating the loosely-covered leftover cake we left on the table after dinner.
Diarrhea, out of nowhere (well, metaphorically speaking). No warning, just BAM and it's here.
Beans and rice again. Again. And again. And again.
Itching for no particular reason except that it's hot and my body is sick of sweating. Itching so much that I wish I could just unzip my skin and take it off like a mechanic's jumpsuit. Itching in places that are totally unladylike to scratch....in public, at least.
Cockroaches the size of a Chihuahua. And some of them fly, which is always an added bonus when you happen upon one during a middle-of-the-night jaunt to the bathroom.
No, not at all.
But I know where it's coming from.
These are some of the things that the enemy uses to chip away my joy,
to distract me from my work,
to fluster me,
to flare my self-pity,
to so easily get me to focus on myself.
Let me tell you how God reminded me today of what matters most.
How He got my attention.
How He flooded my heart so full of His Spirit that I almost couldn’t breathe.
Mid-morning today I went to the Rescue Center to do some paperwork. I had just finished up and was spending a few minutes visiting with the kids. I can go days without going to the RC, but I am so glad I was there….at that exact time.
After a knock at the gate and a brief conversation, in walked a group of a dozen or more men and women, along with one preteen boy. They were dressed in their best Sunday attire. Men in crisply pressed white shirts. Women with flowing, pretty skirts. One lady had on a big, floppy straw hat. The boy was wearing his nice jeans with his shirttail tucked in. Most of them were carrying a Bible. And in just a couple of seconds, this group of Jesus followers filed into the main room where I, a few nannies, and lots of kids were at.
And then they began to sing.
The room that was just seconds before filled with so many kids’ voices and a few unhappy toddlers’ cries was now silent. The only sound was that of the group of Christians singing praise to the Lord.
Every single child stopped and watched in awe, listening intently, eyes wide with wonder.
Such beautiful singing. Real. From the heart.
As the song concluded, the leader of the group began to pray. It was a passionate prayer. As he prayed, the other group members disbursed around the room. Every little cluster of children had someone standing near them.
Arms outstretched to the heavens.
And then they all began to pray.
Loud. Unashamed. Bold.
Such beautiful prayers. Real. From the heart.
The room was full of prayers. The room was full of the Spirit.
Everyone in the room prayed over these children. The nannies were praying. Me, with tears streaming down my cheeks, I was praying.
The children just sat and watched. And listened.
Like the arms of Jesus were wrapped around every child in that room.
Because they were.
The group wrapped it up with a closing prayer by one of the men. Then every group member went around and shook the hands of each adult in the room, including myself.
I thanked each one as they shook my hand.
They have no idea how God used them to minister to my heart in that moment.
Then they made their way out the door, and the day returned to normal.
But my heart will never be normal, at least I hope not.
Because when I take my focus off my Lord, He has beautiful ways of reminding me
who I am
and Whose I am
and the work He has invited me to do.