Passport Through Darkness, by Kimberly L. Smith
"You can have whatever You want from me, but please, God, just show me what difference one person can make in the darkness of this broken world." (Taken from the conclusion of Chapter 1)
When you purchase a book, do you ever jump to conclusions about what the story will be or how it will end, even before you start reading the book? I do! At Orphan Summit this year, I purchased the book Passport Through Darkness. I knew the book was about trafficking and a woman who dared to defy the odds of stepping into this battleground in Sudan. What I didn't know is that the book is about so much more than the author and her husband's obedient response to God's call. It is about realizing and then seeking the dream God has for you.
I did find some stories that I assumed would be shared -- and how heartbreaking it was to read them. But, God is NOT calling us to look away -- to ignore and pretend that these things aren't happening. Sure, it is hard and it is painful to put ourselves physically and emotionally in the midst of any type of suffering. But, God is calling us to do just that. He wants us to be a witness, a voice for those who need someone to stand up and speak out for them.
What surprised me about this book -- as you will find out for yourself when you read it -- is that Passport Through Darkness is not only about the stories of those Smith encountered on this journey, but her own personal journey through darkness. She is real in sharing her feelings, insecurities and obstacles in following God's call. Among them are the challenges she and her husband, Milton, faced in their marriage, as they balanced the call God had given both of them.
Even though many of us might not be travelling around the world to be God's Hands and Feet to the lost, lonely and forgotten, the things that God calls us to be obedient in can seem bigger than our abilities. That means we are in the right place!! While it is more comfortable to be in a position where our abilities line up with the task. God calls us to depend on Him in the areas that our abilities, strength and faith don't match with the task. He will equip us in the moment or He will provide someone to come alongside us to complete the task for His Glory!
A quote from this book that I really like:
"This Kingdom living is painstaking work. We live it at times halfheartedly, other times with gusto, often with great joy and awe at the thrill of being used in something, anything, so far beyond ourselves we know it's God sized. Almost always a dreadful fear hovers around, wanting to bear down on us, and more than a sprig of doubt pushes up like weeds through a sidewalk. Our only prayer in those times is "Lord, we believe. Help us in our unbelief."
Reading this book challenged, encouraged and inspired by reading this book. As I read, the binding of the book began coming apart; it is now in three pieces. Someone suggested that I return the book and get a new one. But, when I read books, I highlight things that I want to go back and reread and I write notes in the sidebar. I can't take this book back and exchange it for another one, it represents this journey that God has me on, and is more precious to me in 3 pieces than if it was all together as it should be. This broken book reminds me that God uses the broken pieces of our lives to be an extension of Him right where we are, if we allow Him to work His perfect will in our lives.
The song "Strong Enough" by Matthew West goes right along with the theme of depending on God to be strong in the areas that He has placed you. As you listen to this song, give God the situations in your life that you don't feel strong enough -- where you feel your abilities don't meet the task -- and then remember this truth found in
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.