A Hershey kiss- a rich, creamy drop of velvety chocolate, melting in your longing mouth and filling your senses with explosive flavor. I was gifted with a delicious bag filled with multiple little chocolate kisses on the day of my wedding. I have to say the kiss I received that day was more explosive, but I have been enjoying these little treasures of goodness in the village. The only chocolate similarity I have in the village is the chocolate color of the village road after a heavy rain.
In my baking sessions on our little gas stove, the smell of sweetness wafts into my nostrils as I cut the chocolate into pumpkin cookies. One day before the business began, I was reading part of Psalms and reread the familiar Psalm 119:103. “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” No matter how delicious my favorite chocolate is, God’s goodness and His beautiful Word will always be the sweetest purest substance in my life. God’s rich grace has abounded so abundantly in our lives. The sweet kisses of His tender mercies are new every morning, spreading it’s gentle touch like the soft yet brilliant rays of the breaking dawn. Each day I am privileged to feast at my Savior’s table, to fill my entire being with the ecstasy of the Almighty’s presence, and savor the delicious blessings cascaded into my hungry, needy soul. The goodness of my loving Father consumes my entire life, each experience kissed by grace. One of the biggest graces God lavished upon us during our journeying was His shielding tutelage.
God’s comforting hand of protection has enclosed around us during our many miles traveled. From our wedding in Goroka to the bustling city of Hagen then jostling up and down the rugged mountainous road to our final destination in the village of Nembi-Plateau, God has kept us safe. He redirected our direction away from the dangerous fighting in Mendi, and wrapped his defending arms around our lives as we gathered our supplies for the village. While in the capital city of Port Moresby obtaining the requirements for my dependent visa, a horrifying accident occurred. I was sitting in a coffee shop, the constant clicking of my keyboard synchronizing with the whir of the large espresso contraption in the corner. Engrossed in focused thought over the words on the page, I almost did not hear the soft ding and the vibration indicating a new message.
‘I ran into an accident.’ My eyes caught this short explanation of the reason my husband was late in retrieving his helpmeet. My confused mind immediately thought of traffic due to an accident, but the next message straightened my misunderstanding and flooded my heart with concern.
‘But I’m ok’- So my love was the person in the accident! I refrained myself from overwhelming him with probing questions and just thanked the Lord that he wasn’t hurt. As he arrived at the coffee shop shaken but unscathed, tears threatened to blur my vision. The following days he reluctantly relived the traumatizing accident through his narration of the event. With each detail given, I envisioned God’s angels surrounding the oncoming vehicle and forcing the speeding mass of metal away from my husband’s body. The car made impact against the front tire, disfiguring the structure but not crushing Jay’s leg or causing significant harm. Even though this first accident flustered and frightened us, we knew God spared Jay’s life. Just as God redirected the oncoming disaster, God used this incidence to redirect Jay’s heart back to the village. Crushing pressure from certain people in the village threatened to comminute Jay’s focus on ministry, but the hand of God preserved His plan for our lives. We are so thankful for the daily kisses of God’s protection and guiding direction. God is our mighty shield and steady rock upon which the crippling arrows of discouragement and ominous waves of despair have no power.
Psalm 18:2, 35-36 “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.”