Agenda for Rejoicing

“Just don’t look down!” was one of the many encouragements shouted down the ladder as those of us already at the top of the water tower cheered on the ones below. 

It’s just a simple metal ladder that goes from the ground all the way to the top, by for some reason (mainly the fact that falling might lead to your death), it takes a fair amount of guts and courage to get up there. Especially when you are doing it with a bunch of teenage girls! 

But for my last girls’ Bible study with the single nurses and missionary teen daughters, we decided to pack our Bibles and a ridiculous amount of cookies in our backpacks and scale the hospital water tower to watch the sunset and study the last section of Galatians.  

When you get to the top, it’s worth it. Remember that. It’s just a life truth. It’s hard work climbing anything – a hill, a mountain, a boulder, a water tower. But when you get to the top, the view is always breathtakingly worth it. 

Green savanna, red dirt, blue sky for miles and miles. It’s amazing how just a hundred feet of elevation change can open up the world so much. As we watched the sun set over the African plain and the sky fade from blue to black, I couldn’t help but sense the closure of a chapter in my life as well, and the rising of a new day in the near distance. 

I’m leaving Togo in just a few days, and when I think about this past year spent here, I am flooded with thankfulness. It’s kind of like watching a beautiful sunset; the fading out of one phase has its own unique beauty, and we can delight even in the night because we know a new dawn is rising. 

I feel a wonderful peace about leaving this place. And it’s not because I’m tired and ready to go home. Nor is it because I’ve necessarily accomplished a lot or feel like I’ve done everything I came here to do (certainly neither of those things!) but rather simply because I’ve seen Jesus here and I’ve leaned in closer to him. And I’m becoming less attached to certain places and more attached to him. 

“The great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you – that’s the agenda for rejoicing.” (Luke 10:19-20)

Rejoice with me for just a minute. Not just for me but with me. Rejoice not in what we do for him, but in what he has done for us. Rejoice in his authority over us. Rejoice in the sunsets and sunrises. Rejoice in the people and places and time that God gives us, and rejoice that when all those things shift and change, he doesn’t. 

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