It’s 5:12 pm in Entebbe, Uganda. I don’t have my package. I will not be getting my package today because everything is now closed.
To say I’m frustrated with the situation is completely inaccurate. I am extremely frustrated. I am pissed off. I will get the package tomorrow. But I no longer have a ride back to the orphange, which means one of two things. I am going to have to find a way to haul a 70 pound package around on a boda-boda and two matatoos, or I’m probably going to have to hire a private taxi. I am stressed out. And I’m exhausted.
I know this entire situation is incredibly petty. I don’t understand this culture. I don’t understand why it is so ridiculously difficult to get this package. I don’t understand why when people probably paid an obscene amount to get it to me, I have to pay even more. I don’t understand why I still don’t have this package, after being here practically all day.
Tears. Now. Awesome.
I’m currently reading a book called Restless Faith by Winn Collier. I wish I would have read it sooner. Basically, the book is about how we are constantly calling out to God to meet our demands or answer our prayers, and when our demands aren’t met or our prayers go unanswered we become angry with and doubtful of God.
This is silly, I know. Bear with me.
I prayed really hard the fees would somehow be miraculously low and I would receive the package today seeing as how I have transportation lined up to get back to the orphanage. Well, my prayers are going unanswered. It looks like all of this is costing me 80,000 shillings (not including possible transport fees). And like I mentioned just a bit ago, I don’t have the package.
I know, this is really extreme and maybe this next quote (from Restless Faith) is a stretch for my situation. Deal with it.
In matters of the heart, there are few sure things. When it comes to God, we can be certain of two: He will always do what is good, and we will sometimes be disappointed. He will always do what is good because he is good and true and just. We will at times be disappointed because our perception of goodness and truth and justice is often strikingly dissimiliar from His.
I don’t know what God saw as “bad” about me paying little and getting the package today. I don’t know why He thinks paying 80,000 shillings and getting my package tomorrow is good. I am disappointed that my silly, little prayers went unanswered. But I’m honest with Jesus about this. I’m explaining to Jesus through my teary eyes and runny nose that I’m really upset. I don’t know why this event was the catalyst for a flood of negative emotions, but it was. And Jesus is currently getting the brunt of my negativity.
Regardless, the fact that I’m emotionally coming to Jesus to express my frustrations about Uganda, the culture and the receiving of packages in Ugandan culture, is only further proof that He is there and He is real and a very personal relationship with Him is possible.
I don’t doubt Jesus when my petty prayers aren’t answered. I may think I doubt Jesus, but in reality I don’t. It’s the stupid tears about package delays that draw me closer to Him. It’s the brokenhearted tears about a failed relationship that draw me closer to Him. It’s the hurt tears about friends not meeting the expectations I set for them (they never signed up for said expectations) that draw me closer to Him. It’s the angry tears about a parent’s or sister’s betrayal that draw me closer to Him.
I don’t think God’s primary motivation is to upset me in frustrating situations and unanswered prayers. However, I do believe that God knows very well that it’s these moments where my trust in Him is refined and the relationship He and I have grows deeper.
Jesus, I’m really upset with you. I wanted this package for free and today. I don’t understand why it didn’t happen. Regardless, I trust you still. I’m sorry for whatever weird mid-month PMS tantrum I’m having today. I do love you. And while I think getting my package today would have been good, apparently you think tomorrow is better. I’ll suck it up and deal with it. Amen.