Ravi Zaharias has a subtitle to one of his books: God at work in the shadows. Ravi looks back at his life and sees the places where God was working, but which Ravi couldn’t see at the time.
When I returned to the Regional Processing Centre at Nauru after the riot and fire that destroyed just about everything, I knew in my head that God was there, that he hadn’t abandoned us, but the loss for me was so great that I couldn’t see where God was at work. I had one of the deepest crises of faith that I have ever had. God had shown me time and again prior to the fire the things He was doing but the total destruction of my workplace, of all that had been achieved over the last 10 months meant that I couldn’t see those God-things any more. I couldn’t see God at work. There was a moment too when I had to admit that I didn’t think I could do this job long-term, that I might have to “give up” – not an easy place for me to come to.
I read the story of Joseph on one of my days off. Joseph couldn’t see what God was doing when he was in the pit and the prison. It was only when Joseph was in the palace that he could look back and see that what his brothers had meant for evil, in selling him into slavery, God had meant for good by bringing him eventually to a place of power and favour that saved his whole family.
Six weeks on and I know two things: one is that when God made it clear to me that he wanted me on Nauru He knew I was the right person for this job. Although I trusted that, I couldn’t see it, at times I really doubted it; now when I look at what I am doing and how it “fits” with who I am I feel that God is saying: “See, I knew you were right for this job!” Secondly, I knew in my head that God was at work despite appearances but my heart questioned that. Now I can see that the fire has been a blessing in disguise as the Salvo team here is stronger, tighter, more focused and definitely the right provider for the situation.
So, yes, God has been at work in the shadows of my life especially in these last 6 weeks, and in the shadows of the work of The Salvation Army here at the Regional Processing Centre.
I guess I’ll stay