As I look ahead to what the future holds--the next few weeks, the end of the semester, the summer, the fall, next school year, etc. I often find bits of lingering doubt and uncertainty in my mind and heart. As I battle for truth and full assurance in the promises of God, I recognize that I am so weak and so incapable of anything on my own. In one instant, I will be looking boldly at what God is planning for me ahead; in another, I will feel afraid, "what if I am not good at linguistics? What if I am not really supposed to go into Bible translation?"
My life and my mind have been a jumbled mess of all these conflicting thoughts and emotions. I am learning to praise God for the grace he has provided me in the past and look forward to the future grace he is going to provide. It is not an easy thing to learn. It is very difficult, actually. I often find my weak and sinful will trying to control my thoughts and emotions, leading me to places where I am confused and exhausted. So I must pray and remember that my help comes from the Lord. I am realizing more and more each day how incredibly helpless I am--able only to wait on the Lord...to be still and know that HE is God...to hope in the full assurance of His love, His grace and His faithfulness.
I don't really know what the next step is. I wait. I wait with the Lord. Meanwhile redeeming the time, so that my last few weeks here are full and rich and spent wisely--loving the Lord and loving my friends. He might seem silent to me now, but I am learning that it is just a time of waiting. It seems fairly evident that he wants me to be in stillness and quiet, trusting that He will provide and that His timing is perfect.
Here are a few quotes I have come across lately that have been great encouragement and instruction...
"The most fundamental fight of the Christian life is to keep on being satisfied with God. When you look up, to keep on feeling love for the glory of his name. When you look forward, to keep on feeling hope in the greatness of his promises.
Is there a diligence in the Christian life? Is there an earnestness? Is there a fight and a struggle and a zeal and a passion? Yes. But the direct focus of that earnestness is not first on certain behaviors but on God--maintaining the assurance of hope in God and the sweetness of love for his name. All other obedience is a second commandment. And if second things become first things, we may have a rigorous religion, but we will not have evangelical, God-centered, biblical Christianity."
"We are chosen by God, loved by God, forgiven by God, accepted by God, indwelt by God, guided by God, protected by God, strengthened by God—and God is more important than anyone else in the universe. We do not have to feel vulnerable or insecure. We do not have to be self-justifying or self-defensive or self-pitying. We can be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, as James says (James 1:19). We can be like Paul who said, "When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate" (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)."
"It is possible for Christians--even those who have drunk for decades at the spring of God's grace--to slowly wander away from the fountain of life. It is possible even in the ministry--the water-carrying business--to stop going back to the spring and settle for pools and puddles down the hill."
"Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me."
That's all for now!...I am thoroughly enjoying springtime in Michigan. The trees are budding and the daffodils are blooming all over the place! It is such a beautiful world :) It is somewhere around 71 degrees outside and I am in the library sitting by a window trying to study. I am skipping classes because i have a really bad cold. I wanted to take the time to catch up on all the work I didn't do while Luke was here--and then take a nap. I have such a stuffy nose and have been coughing so hard I'm pretty sure one of my lungs will pop out soon. gross. My arms feel like they do after I get a shot...weak and sore, numb and kind of limp. Weird. At least the beautiful spring weather is able to cheer up my sick body...and just cheer me up all around. Sigh. I love it. I want to go for a walk. hmm. Maybe I'll do that this afternoon...