Monday, October 31, 2011

I need something?

Medicine on the ground being sold at the Arapi market. 

I was sitting with some fellow missionary nurses over lunch commiserating about some of the struggles we face.  I was just sharing with them that it isn’t uncommon for a mother to bring me a child asking for medicine but after I assess the child it is pretty clear that they don’t need meds. They have a viral respiratory infection or colic and just need fluids, rest and time. But Ugandan mothers HATE to hear this. They want medicine for their child. They believe they HAVE TO HAVE medicine.  The one instance that I was thinking of in particular the grandmother came to me for advice. I rode my bike to their home and assessed the baby. She was 3 months old and had a little cough but nothing else. No fever, eating fine, lungs clear, etc. I reassured them that the baby was healthy and tried to explain that she was too little for cough medicine so they just needed to give it time and it would clear up.  I learned that a few hours later they took the baby to a local midwife who sold them medicine for malaria. I wanted to scream “You don’t need that crap!” (For so many reasons this kind of thing drives me nuts. This baby didn’t need any medicine and really didn’t need malaria medicine. It is too hard on her little kidneys, and just generates resistance.)  I was talking to the other nurses and they were saying they see the same things in places they work- Egypt, Haiti, Ethopia. People have this idea that they NEED medicine for something.  Then one of the nurses said “don’t we all?”.  She was speaking more metaphorically than medicine and she is right. I know there are times that I’ve gone to God and told Him I’m tired or worn out or frustrated and He tells me to just rest in His presence. That I need to rehydrate and take time. And instead I try to heal the struggle with food (chocolate!! ) or entertainment (I’ll just toss in a movie) or something else. And God is saying “What did I just tell you?! You don’t need that crap!” I am developing resistance to God’s voice and it is hard on my soul to seek to satisfy outside of what God provides for me. He tells me to  come rest in Him but I choose other “medicines.” I’m sorry Lord when I don’t listen to you and try to heal the hurts in my life with things outside of what you say. I know you are the great healer and have only the best in mind for me. Teach me to just take time and rest in your presence. To hydrate in the springs of life and to really understand that I don’t NEED those other things.  Amen.  


Kathleen said...

Thanks for this post Jennifer!! First off, your honesty is SO refreshing and it reminds me how glad I am that we're friends. Second, this makes me think of how--too often--I do the same thing, and all God wants is for me to turn my gaze to Him. How easy it is for us to forget this!!

Anonymous said...

Amen! Hey Jennifer! I was just checking out your blog for the first time:) Thanks so much, this is great and now I can keep track of you a little:)
The Lord Bless you, thank you so much for sharing..I feel the same way sometimes... Then I'm frustrated, But God looks at us the same way, but so loving!!
Love you!! -steph