Last night there was a gecko in my bed. It was only a small gecko but the size is not relevant – it was a slithery lizard and it did not belong where it was. I evicted the invader quickly and with minimum fuss, flicking it gently out from under my mosquito net which, by the way, is meant to keep such interlopers away at night. I know there are geckos residing in the rafters because I wake each morning to look up at new deposits of gecko droppings on top of my crisp white net – just one of many good reasons to use a mozzie net in Africa. The geckos are welcome to share my room so long as they are on the outside looking in while I sleep at night.
I tell you this story by way of proving how very far God has brought me since I left Australia in January 2008 and how very deeply He has worked in me, to bring me to peace and contentment and joy. Yes, even with a gecko on my pillow. Oh how far I have come!
I am of the firm belief that the grace of God is sufficient for anything to which He calls us. There is the danger that some of you may think me trite, especially on this oh-so-holy day of the year, to be thanking God for the grace to live with lizards. Be that as it may, I do see His provision and strengthening in new ways every day here and, so very often, it is in relation to creatures with which I would never choose to associate back home.
Last week His grace was sufficient when I had to deal with the huge rat hiding in the rice sacks stored just outside my front door. The rice is bagged up for the food packages given out each week. Did I mention that it was a rat and it was huge? So huge in fact that even the Mozambican men who came to rescue me commented on how huge it was. When I said “I had to deal with the huge rat”, what I meant was that I sent out an SOS to the workmen next door to come and rescue me.
His grace was sufficient when a cockroach fell onto my shoulder and crawled across my arm while I was praying. His grace was sufficient when an ant started biting me in an embarrassingly inaccessible spot while I was having a meeting outdoors with someone I had only just met. His grace was sufficient when a mouse ran between my feet as I chased it with the electrified tennis racquet I normally use for zapping mosquitoes. The proof that His grace is sufficient is in the fact that I find it hilariously funny to chase a mouse as I wield what I affectionately call my “fanger”. My friend Vella killed a mouse with a dustpan. Splat. I like her style.
His grace is sufficient when the heat saps my strength and leaves me feeling weak and dizzy. His grace is sufficient when more toddlers than I can possibly carry all want to be cuddled at once, running at me and knocking me over in the sand. His grace is sufficient when the bananas – again! – get infested with fruit fly within hours of my buying them. His grace is sufficient when the rain pours in my window and floods the drawers, the floor and my clock radio.
His grace is sufficient when I walk into the Baby House and think of Dino who died a few months ago. I miss Dino’s smile and his giggle and his funny little run when he would rush to me for a hug.
His grace is sufficient as I watch, speechless, helpless, while a young woman drags herself across the busy, blisteringly hot road on her hands and knees, unable to walk.
His grace is sufficient when I am asked for money and food and even for my shoes by the poorest of the poor. His grace is sufficient when I am racked with guilt as I keep my shoes on and walk away.
You see, His grace is sufficient for all He calls us to. Some days, His grace enables me to laugh and other days, to cry. Some days His grace lifts me up to thrive and, other days, grips me tight enough just to survive. His grace – the grace that led Him to the Cross where He gave His life for me – now leads me to live in a place where I need Him every day in ways I never could have imagined or prepared myself for.
When He calls, He provides all that we need for that call, no matter who we are or where it is we go or what we are called to do.
May the God of all grace be your sufficiency this Easter season and may you know to new heights and greater depths than ever before the grace that is sufficient for you, in every way.