As we sat in the dining hall of Naomi’s Village, home to nearly 60 children loved well and alive in Christ, Bob & Julie told us about the dead land that they stood on 10 years ago. With a child fallen down a well, a tribal dispute in the area with 7 killed, and a decade long drought leaving nothing but barren earth, they questioned what God was calling them to. Nothing about that piece of land screamed “Yes, come, build a home here and give Life to these broken children,” yet God, the ultimate giver of Life, whispered in their hearts “Trust in me, and I will fulfill my promise”. And that, He did.
Just that morning, I read about His promise in Genesis and Exodus. Not only about His promise, but about how God “heard their groaning and remembered His covenant…” (Exodus 2:24) His covenant was a promise to never again destroy Life, a promise of numerous descendants, and a promise of His omnipotent provision. He ultimately vows to give eternal Life, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It is amazing to me to see our Lord, the same Almighty of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same Father of Jesus Christ, the same God that I sat down with that morning, fulfilling His eternal promise every single day.
Later that day, Grace, husband of Mike, mother of 8, and grandmother of 24, once again poured the promise of Life into my heart. Though only completing a couple of years of primary school, she spoke English well enough to tell me about what she had been through and where God had brought her. “It should not be,” she said, “it is not me speaking, but the Holy Spirit,” and how right she was. Displaced by misfortune, Grace found herself living out of a tent about 10 ft by 10 ft, built by torn tarp and broken sticks. It is by the grace of God that she has moved from that tent to a tin home, not much bigger, but sheltered from dust and rain.
She spoke to the visible, physical fulfillment of His promise. She told me about the dead land and dried dirt that was their shamba (garden). Like the land that Bob and Julie stood on, nothing about this barren ground looked like anything could ever grow there. Praying for God’s provision, expectant of rain, “It is when we are in the most need, that is when God is watching over us,” Grace told me. She does not only hope that something will sprout from that barren earth, but she expects it, because our God is a faithful God, knowing the needs of His people. As Exodus 2 tells us, Just as God hears our cries, He remembers His promise.
And so today, we rest in that covenant, not only hoping, but expecting His fulfillment. Know that He does not promise immediate comfort, but eternal Life. Though this earth may seem barren, His blessings are abundant in Heaven.