I wrote the following devotional for a ministry publication entitled “Resourceful,” published by David C Cook. It is based on the lyrics to the song “Make a Way” by Jason Ingram and Jon Egan (released by Integrity Music on Desperation Band’s 2014 recording entitled “Banners”). I was listening exclusively to this album, and this song in particular, while traveling to Zimbabwe in late October/early November 2014 with a team from Converse Church of Christ.
Make A Way
“God from God, light from light, we believe in one Jesus Christ breaking through the darkest of nights to save. You alone can save.”
Over seven-thousand miles away from home, I sit quietly and reverently underneath God’s welcoming canopy of stars. “Where there is no way, You make a way. Where no one else can reach us, You find us.” These infectious lyrics stir my heart to worship as my feet touch the dirt and my eyes adjust to the dim glow of firelight. The half-moon above offers a hospitable grin, as if to say, “Welcome, friends. You know me. I shine here, too.”
The Tonga people of the Binga Valley have welcomed us into their remote village, eagerly waiting late into the night for our arrival. Our long journey has taken a heavy toll on our bodies. We are worn and weary but we are no less excited to meet our hosts and share in this sacramental meal.
We somehow know we are on holy ground. We perceive we have been led into the Valley of Vision, where we “live in the depths but see in the heights.” In this sacred moment, one thing becomes clear: we are not bringing God into a neglected space. Quite the contrary – God is bringing us to here, to these precious people, in order to witness and experience His powerfully saving presence.
There are moments in life when we are given an incredible gift, the ability to see with spiritual eyes what God is up to in the world. The highlight of my experience in Zimbabwe was witnessing a hundred Batonga people hear and see the Gospel message in their own language as they watched the ‘Jesus Film’ on a small exterior wall of an African hut. No electricity. No lights. No air-conditioning. No chairs. Nothing that would appease a crowd, but where there seems to be no way, God always makes a way.
“Jesus, it’s always been You. Jesus, it always is You. Jesus, it always will be You.”
Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, said of himself, “When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me” (John 12:32 The Voice). He was speaking, of course, of the nature of his death. Jesus would be lifted up from the earth and crucified upon a cruel cross in order to redeem and restore all that was lost in the fall. Where there seemed to be no way for us to save ourselves, to experience the true joy of living in perfect relationship with our Creator, Jesus made a way. His crucifixion and death may have ushered in the darkest of nights, but his resurrection signaled the dawning of a new day, a brilliant light that cannot be overcome, a life bursting forth in glorious victory over the power of sin and death.
One dark night in Northwestern Zimbabwe, the narrative of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was lifted up on the side of a crudely built hut, translated into a language which every person from the Binga Valley would understand. May we also remember the great lengths God has gone to in order to reach us. Jesus entered into our neglected and isolated reality to win the war for our hearts and bring us home. This is more than a good story. It’s the truth that sets prisoners free. It is the reality that binds up broken hearts and gives hope to the hopeless. It is true: God always makes a way!