Kinshasha is a city of 9.5 million (the third largest city in Africa) situated on the banks of the mighty Congo River. As our plane flew down to land at the airport, this city of 3,848 square miles seemed endless. Les and I deplaned and processed through customs but as we headed to pick up our luggage we were stopped and asked to produce shot records. Les had his and was waved forward. I did not bring my record and was therefore motioned to go sit in line with others of the same plight. When it came my turn the medical official asked me why I did not bring my card. I explained my reason and he said I would have to pay a fine of $60. This seemed not only excessive but ridiculous since I had already mailed it in to the Democratic Republic of Congo Consulate as part of the process for getting my visa.
I told the official I would not pay him $60. He looked at me for some time and then wrote down the amount $60, crossed a line through it, and wrote underneath it $20. Immediately I understood what was happening—he expected to be paid. I protested but did not want to get into an argument. With a smile on my face, I handed the man a twenty-dollar bill. Immediately he corrected himself and said the fee was $30.
Isa 33:2—LORD, be gracious to us! We wait for You. Be our strength every morning and our salvation in time of trouble.
Easily I could have refused to pay what in effect was a bribe. Yet in my spirit I sensed that I was supposed to cooperate with that official. High ranking military officers were waiting to escort me but they did not know my predicament and therefore did not whisk me through the security gates as would later happen in Uganda. However, that little episode enabled me to connect several different times with audiences as one who could relate to their frustration with corruption.
After hearing my story, one of our Congo hosts shared with me the Lingala word malembe. It simply means, “Don’t force it—let God work it out.” What a great word! So often we may be tempted to force things to get our way because we insist on being right. Yet, by taking matters into our own hands we may miss God’s solution. Henry and Richard Blackaby wrote, “When God directs a life for his purposes, all of life is a school.” Stuart Briscoe wrote,“God’s will isn’t a high wire. God’s will is a 12-lane highway. He’s got you and me going in a certain direction, and the varieties of possibility are boundless.”
Trouble is a great tester of our faith. Don’t force solutions as your own savior. Let God lead and learn from His leading. Malembe!
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Henry & Richard Blackaby in Spiritual Leadership
 Stuart Briscoe in Spiritual Stamina