I had the privledge of sharing with 1st Reformed Church of Oak Harbor this morning. And thought perhaps others might like to read what I shared, so below is the meditation.
He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
For some reason the words to this old hymn written during the civil war keeps coming into my mind as I work at Kijabe Hospital, Kenya as an OB/GYN. I usually only remember the first verse and find great comfort knowing God is leading me as I see each patient and treat many problems I have only read about, but as I reflected on what to say this morning I felt an urgency to read the rest of the hymn and so this is a meditation based on He Leadth Me.
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
by waters still, o'er troubled sea,
still 'tis his hand that leadeth me.
Scenes of deepest gloom… generally finds me daily. I entered the field of OB/GYN because generally it’s a happy field, babies, young moms, patients that live; this is not true though in Kenya. The week before we delivered 3 dead babies in 24 hours. I’ve had to perform C/S on dying mothers. I’ve diagnosed more cancers than I saw my previous 4 years in residency. At least 12% of my patients are HIV positive. Still
Lord, I would place my hand in thine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
Because the fact is that this God that leads our family loves us all dearly. God has called us and brought us to Kenya. Sometimes that means living without running water or electricity. Other days it means staying awake many hours to care for patients. It means being away from family and friends that we love. But also it means that God is leading Muslim, Somalian patients to Kijabe hospital. Imagine, we get to work in one of the most developed mission hospitals, there’s a school on premises for our children, and God is bringing 25% of our patients from a completely un-reached people group from a place I would never want to live.
And when my task on earth is done,
when by thy grace the victory's won,
e'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
since God through Jordan leadeth me.
Can you exclaim with the hymnist what a blessed thought…God leads us. Or sing with David in Psalm 23: He leads me beside quiet waters, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me?
It’s profound: God leads us. So the question really is, “Are you willing to be led?” I don’t know if God is leading you to or away from, into, through, beyond, around or near. As a family we are also not sure where God is leading us in 1 year… maybe into career missions, maybe back to the States, maybe to another country or further education, but we are confident God will lead and that IS a comforting thought.