Standing in the middle the greenest vegetation I’ve even seen and physically and spiritually hungry people, yet I feel nothing. Several questions fill my head. Is this shock from finally leaving my home country? Am I here just to observe and support the team? Did I not thoroughly consult God about going on the trip?
If so, I was 8448.72 miles of disobedience away. Venturing off without God’s graceful providence is dangerous. Thankfully that was not the case because I knew the Spirit of God lead me Uganda and of course fulfilling the Great Commission is the believer’s charge.
It took two days to get to our final destination; in my head, enough time to shake off any jetlag and attacks of discontentment. Somehow I was having an inner conflict. I was struggling in my faith level to see the miraculous and redeeming power of God’s love. Comparison, self-awareness, and doubt paid me a visit for the first four days.
Don’t let what you feel, make you forget what God said
Before venturing off to the second village, I woke up at sunrise to address my feelings with my faith. Worship helped me to enter into a focused space. We have to acknowledge that there are times in our Christian walk that we will not “feel” anything. We may not feel worthy of redemption but the blood of Christ said we were.
Ignoring a need of someone who has mistreated you may feel like the greatest revenge, but God says to bless our enemies. You may not feel like exhibiting the fruits of the spirit, but we should be reflections of Christ. This is especially hard in traffic, but rage is a work of the flesh and will get you a ticket. For me, I didn’t feel the overwhelming presence of God. I wanted to feel the supernatural boldness. Yet, self-awareness was all I felt, which caused me to doubt God would love others through me.
Discontentment is a mistrusting of God. Contentment is trusting God implicitly. Thus, discontent is the opposite of faith. - Jeff Robinson
At sunrise, I took some time to refocus and build my faith. I walked away from that time of worship with: “All you need is faith in God and to trust in the promises He already spoke. Walk in faith and not your feeling.” Why? Because it took my trust and faith in Jesus and not my feeling for the remaining thirteen days to witness eye sights restored, the bond set free, various miracles, and many accept Christ’s redeeming love. Hebrews chapter eleven and verse six says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him….”
Often times we don’t address the dangers of discontentment. Letdown, disappointment, regret, failures, and unmet expectations can chip away at the safety guard of our devotion/worship. In my study time, I found in the book of Genesis how the serpent presented discontentment to Eve in the Garden of Eden. The place of abundant beauty; a paradise of peace, fullness, happiness, and innocence.
Eve and Adam lived in contentment in the Garden because God was everything they needed. However, the theserpent presented discontentment with God’s abundance and instructions given to Eve and she shared it with Adam.
Discontentment denies the wisdom of God and exalts my wisdom. Isn’t this precisely what Eve did in the garden in questioning the goodness of God’s Word? Thus, discontentment was at the heart of the first sin. “Has God really said?” That’s the question at the heart of all our discontentment. - Jeff Robinson
We are to lean on our history with God to combat frickle pockets of confusion or feelings. Discontentment devours fullness and makes you starve for something you already had. This is why the “Eden” of my faith-- persuaded conviction of God’s sovereignty, faithfulness, and righteousness - was what I needed to depend on in order to minister instead of a feeling. This was one of my first lessons in Uganda.
We must block out the pesky lies of the enemy. Deny any doubt of who I know God is, his instructions and promises, who God says you are and can do.
Tamika P. Smith lives in Texas, U.S.A. where she enjoys teaching high school students. She serves in the children, women, and prison ministry at her church.