Saturday, March 12, 2011
Good to the Last Drop
Sweat glistening on our brows, my Malagasy friend, Mirana (pictured above), and I drag ourselves into the village of Ambohinihaonana. We plop down, our backs resting on a mud hut. The 22 kilometer trek to get here has been arduous, yet full of good conversation. Parched, I reach around my side to grab the water bottle from my backpack; I see movement out of the corner of my eye and stop.
A little old woman, hunched over a tray, is shuffling our way. On the tray are two cups of coffee - steaming and looking very black. I don’t know if y’all know this, but I do NOT like coffee. I enjoy the aroma, but the bitter taste – ugh! No sir, not for me! Not even a caramel macchiato can disguise it. And have I mentioned that it is HOT and HUMID and we have been hiking for hours?! A war begins in my mind.
“How can I get out of drinking that coffee?” “Come on, Cara, you can’t tell a sweet old woman ‘no’ when she’s being so nice!” “But I don’t want it!” “This relationship is more important than your soon-to-be damaged taste buds.”
“It’s the chief’s wife,” Mirana whispers to me. Even better. There is no way I am going to refuse the hospitality of this woman. Reaching out my hands to accept the token of welcome, I slowly take a breath and bring the cup to my lips.
One sip down. Oh my goodness. I might not be able to do this. Can she just turn around for a second so I can dump this out? No? Masking the turmoil going on inside my mouth, I smile at the woman and say thank you. I take another gulp. I am seriously disgusted (yet at the same time, honored at this gesture of kindness. This sweet elderly woman had no idea the havoc this would wreak within me). Glancing over at Mirana’s empty cup, I make the decision to be a terrible friend.
“Oh you finished! Would you like the rest of mine?” The grin was still plastered on my face, but my eyes were pleading for a way out. Recognizing my plights, a wonderful girl name Mirana said, “Sure.” I decide right then and there that she is my best friend for life. *grin*
Okay, okay, so this drama-filled story was (in the grand scheme of things) really not that bad. It wasn’t blood chunks or intestines I had to choke down, just coffee. However it wasn’t something I wanted to happen. Certainly not something I enjoyed doing. But definitely worth it to develop a relationship with this woman.
Something God has been showing me lately is how worth it all He is. In the little things and the big things. The things that “go wrong,” that I would rather not have happen, things that are downright painful, He is completely, totally, utterly, hands-down WORTH IT ALL.
Now don’t get me wrong – life is good! I still love it here in Mada and being blessed beyond imagination. It is just so true that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). My friends, because of this truth, we should be living lives that by words and deeds proclaim that God is worthy!!!
Pray for me, that I might walk worthy of God who has called me, live every moment for His glory and good pleasure, and increase in the knowledge of Him (I Thess. 2:12, Col. 1:10).
In God’s exceedingly abundant love,