I can be a critic, discouraging pessimist. I can be mean and rude. I can be a self-centered self preservist – there I said it. Truth is, when we are pushed up against a wall, when we are driven by fear, when bad stuff is going on around us that survival instinct kicks in to the max.
Nigeria can be a troubled place. Jos has experienced its fair share of incidents. Last Sunday when there was a suicide car bomb attack at a major church denomination in town about 3km from our house, was one of those times when for a little while the survival instinct kicked in. It was the first time since getting here that I wondered ‘how bad would it have to get before I get up out of here and take my family to safety in England’. Don’t judge me – maybe I am not a very good missionary for thinking about that, maybe I am not fully prepared to pay the cost with my life to serve God and live for Jesus in Nigeria.
As a youth worker I would talk how our faith is stretched like a rubber band or stretch Armstrong toy. The whole concept of not knowing how strong your faith it until it is stretched, you can pull it and pull it and stretch it, and you will only find out how much it can withstand by doing so. God promises (yes a strong work) that we will face trials of many kinds, but he also promises that he will not let us be tested beyond what we can stand. I sometimes wonder – how much can I stand?
Even in the midst horrible badness that results in people dying, it is possible, if you look hard enough to see god working. This car bomb was set off before it reached its destination. It didn’t really go off. Only half of the bomb exploded. Who knows what damaged would have been done if the whole thing had exploded – it would have probably impacted the building to collapse kill all inside. It seems an odd way to protect people, but if you look hard enough, I take courage that God is at work even in troubled times.