May 7th, 3am

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Sun, 08 May 2016 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Sleeping isn’t usually a problem for me. 10:30pm – out like a light ’til the 6am alarm. Tonight was different. Something woke me just after midnight and my brain went into overdrive; thinking about our time here in Uganda… have I actually achieved anything?… pondering the future… when is it time to move on?How on earth will I find a job if we move home someday?

Then there are the frustrations of being a behind-the-scenes volunteer in a fairly big hospital… how can I get this point across?… Why is no-one listening?… Am I the world’s worst ‘missionary’?… Why are people not turning to Jesus?… Why am I awake at 2:30am?

I know, I’ll take a night-time walk around the hospital… get chatting with some night-shift staff… share stories, offer encouragement…

At 3am I sneaked out the back door with a mug of coffee and a torch. Tania and Lana seemed to sleep through the noisy kettle boiling and the loud double-click of the door lock.

The two-minute ‘commute’ up to the hospital buildings was uneventful – the mongoose that tried to trip me up recently wasn’t having my sleeping problems.

I’ve been around the wards at night many times – mainly when there’s a technical problem with the generator or something, but tonight was quieter than I’d ever experienced here. I dandered past the Lab, over to OPD – not a soul in sight. I know, I’ll call in on the security men at the main gate. No-one there! What!? Why is no-one on duty? Not tonight, Paul. Let it go. They’re probably being covert.

I headed up past the pharmacy, male ward, maternity… no-one, nothing. I peered through a window to see a nurse with her head down on the nurses’ station desk. I’m sure she’s not sleeping – probably deep in prayer.

After a couple of laps I sat down on the bench outside the Estates office – a great vantage point – a place where you can’t (normally) sit for more than 5 minutes without someone joining you for a chat.

No-one around. This has never happened before. Ah well, this seems like one of those times where I should read my Bible. Out with the phone. I opened the App that I often use for my devotions.

Title: ‘Don’t Serve God’


‘What is God looking for in the world? Assistants? No. The gospel is not a ‘help wanted’ ad. Neither is the call to Christian service’ (2 Chron. 16:9).

Interesting… it went on…

‘But isn’t there something we can give to God…?’

‘Yes, our anxieties. “Cast all your anxieties on him.” (1 Peter 5:7). God will gladly receive anything from us that shows our dependence and his all-sufficiency.’

I keep reading…

‘Patients do not serve their physicians. They trust them for good prescriptions. The Sermon on the Mount is our Doctor’s medical advice, not our employer’s job description.’

‘…God is the workman in the affair. And what he gets is the glory of being the benefactor of grace – not the beneficiary of service.’

There it is. Give it all over to Him – all our fears, worries, our future, our past…

I’d better write that down.


PS. The App is Solid Joys by John Piper.
(other Bible Apps are available.)


Lorraine graham said Mon, 09 May 2016 05:03PM
The Lord needed you to hear that, take it and remember he loves you enough to disturb your sleep to speak to you
Alison said Mon, 09 May 2016 10:30PM
3am - that's often when God gets our undivided attention. He's thankfully there 24/7.

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