Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Out of Sight, Out of Mind


God is working in this beautiful place. He's changing hearts and lives in ways I can't begin to describe. Those stories will be told, but I haven't compiled them into blog posts yet.

Yesterday was almost all prayer. We prayed with many hurting people and were witness to those beautiful moments when peace replaces fear, hope replaces doubt, and joy replaces despair. 

Last night, the oddest thing happened. 

I returned to my room at the conference center where I'm staying. The other rooms in my building had been occupied by another group, but they left yesterday. I was the only occupant remaining in the building.

It was quiet when I entered my room. I clicked on the remote for the heater, but nothing happened. "I'll take a hot shower and get warm before I go to bed," I thought. (It's crazy cold in Jordan.)

I turned on the tap to brush my teeth. Just a trickle of water came out of the faucet. I turned on the water in the shower. Only a trickle. Since a hot trickle seemed better than nothing, I let it run for a few minutes. Still cold water.

An early bedtime seemed my best option, so I changed into pj's and climbed into bed with my computer. I had internet for a while, and then I didn't.

My room is upstairs and at the end of the short hall. It's out of the way and has a beautiful view of the Jordan Valley from the tiny balcony. On a clear day, I can see all the way into Israel. I love this little room, so conveniences aren't necessary.

I turned out the light and went to bed.

This morning, I awakened early and started my routine. The trickle of water at the sink was enough to brush my teeth. The trickle of cold water in the shower was enough to wash my hair and have a quick wipe-off. 

No internet. No hot water in the dispenser.

I couldn't imagine what had happened, but none of those luxuries was essential. One of our missionaries said she's only had three hot showers in the last few months, so I count myself greatly blessed. I dressed and headed outside to wait for the driver.

While I was waiting, I ran into Layla, who supervises things at the center. "Oh, my goodness. I'd forgotten about you," she exclaimed. "What have you been doing?"

We had a good visit and she asked about the room. I told her about the water dispenser. It was unplugged but I couldn't get the plug back in place. 

"Oh, Leanna, I am so sorry. When the Koreans left, the workers forgot about you! They've turned everything off." 

We had a good laugh and she promised to restore services to my room today.

This morning, I've pondered the adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." I was only forgotten for a few hours, but it's all too easy for us to forget the people God brings into our lives. When you're the one who's forgotten, it can be a lonely place. 

In that same way, when our sin puts a wedge of separation between us and our heavenly Father, we can feel forgotten by God. The people of Israel experienced just such a time. "God has forgotten all about us," they complained. "He's forsaken us."

"That's not possible," Isaiah told the people, and shared the promise God gave.

"Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49:15-16 NASB

Here's the good news. We are never out of God's sight. 

We are never out of His thoughts. 

We are never forgotten. 

No matter how alone you feel, the reality is that you are not forgotten. You are not alone. 

We are not alone. 

We are inscribed in the scars on Jesus' nail-pierced hands, and those scars are all the reminder He needs.
Internet comes and goes. I'll post more when I have the chance. 
Tomorrow (3/9) we have a meeting with a Jordanian ministry at 9 am (our time) and will be joining the teachers from Ajloun Baptist School for training in Amman beginning at 11 am until 8:00 pm. (That's 1 am and 3 am - 1 pm Tupelo time) We'd appreciate your prayers.