So right now I’m sitting in front of my computer, taking a much needed break from all the studying, writing, and other school-related things that have basically taken over my life the last few nights. But in the midst of all the craziness that has evolved over the last two days including a 30 minute cry fest on the drive home from the doctor, two tests, a paper, a project…and many more things I have yet to do….yes, in the midst of all of that, God has been present. Always. Teaching me, molding me, sometimes even slapping me in the face with my ignorance of His constancy and unending grace upon my heart.
As most of you all know, if there is anyone besides my mom & dad (love you!!) reading this, I am going to South Asia this summer (if you want to know the country, you have to pledge to be a prayer warrior for security reasons, so email me if you’re interested!). This week (again, in the midst of craziness–when I was asking God specifically to show me that He is “ordering my steps”–proverbs 16:9), I got my itinerary! And an email from my supervisor! And another email giving me an introduction to this summer. I am literally seeing my worries melt away and give way to trust & faith. Yeah, money is definitely a big worry for me. However, God has given me some wisdom to kinda formulate some ways to go about this–He is already opening doors!
So, how is He doing this, you may ask? As much as I would love it to be a burning bush, it’s not. But it does involve some burning. Burning of myself. Let me explain.
Monday, I had a big cry fest. I could not feel my God right there next to me. I felt so overwhelm by guilt on SO many levels within my heart. And in that, as I cried out to Him, driving down I-55 & 1-20 (missed the exit for the Trace), looking like a weirdo (as myself & a friend discussed, we don’t look pretty when we cry…in fact, it probably looks really gross)….just crying my eyes out. And He asked me to do some really hard things. Forgiving myself. Forgiving others. Letting go of an old, broken relationship that continually causes me grief in my Spirit. Venting–not holding anything in anymore. Crying when I need to cry. And other things. Not easy things. But things that HE works within me. Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who works within you: both to will and to work for HIS good pleasure.”
Well, I got back to the dorm. And what was waiting for me on my computer? My Itinerary for this summer!!! And an application for my visa. It just was like an embrace–“I AM ORDERING YOUR STEPS. I’M WORKING OUT THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU. I’M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET.” It was a beautiful thing. I almost started crying again, overwhelmed by how God DOES answer prayer. HE DOES! Do you get that?! Yeah, it may not be on our schedules all the time, but sometime it is. I read last night that time is a beautiful thing. God blessed us with it, to glorify Him in each & every moment.
Then last night, I continued reading in Acts, chapter 23. And God once again slapped me in the face with the certainty of faith & trust in HIM. It came in verse 11.
“The following night, the LORD stood by Paul and said, ‘Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”‘
I read this and was like WHAT?! Paul is facing persecution here….in Rome it is 10 times worse, because it is a Pagan city!!! I was thinking, what a comfort God. Take courage, you’ve got it bad here, now let’s take it up a notch (my version of Matthew Henry’s commentary)! I was like, Jerusalem is also Paul’s comfortable place–because Jews at least knew there is supposed to be a Messiah, and Paul just has to use scripture that he has memorized to tell them! And now he has to go and teach those in Rome who don’t have a knowledge of those scriptures—how hard that will be!!!!
………………And that’s when He slapped me.
Um, I’m here at MC. A “Christian” college, where most people have heard the name of Christ. Just like Paul’s Jerusalem. But I’m not sharing here, as Paul was. Sure, I’m trying. But is trying enough? I learned at a DNow a few weeks ago that it is not. I must train. As Paul did. Discipline myself to share the word, no matter the cost. No matter how hard it is. Only then can I be ready to go to Asia, where no one knows the name of Christ.
So, slap. I’ve got to live here for the name & glory of Christ boldly before I can ever travel anywhere else and live for Him. It’s moment by moment, not event after event.