Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What I'm Learning

I’ve waited far too long to do this. For the past two months or so, God has been teaching me a lot. And I’ve been meaning to sit down and blog about it, but it hasn’t happened. But I need to take the time to do this. And today, after writing two news stories, doing today’s homework, doing tomorrow’s homework, and doing half of Wednesday’s homework (all of which didn’t amount to all that much), I am going to do it.
I’m going to start with the most recent saga, because I don’t want to lose any of the details by waiting to do it. It started Saturday evening and is still unfolding. Saturday, Nathan and I spent all afternoon and evening at a track meet. While I had a great time surprising & seeing old friends, my spirits went down with the sun. The realization was hitting me that my week of Spring Break was over…that the next day I would have to return to college…that I hadn’t done everything I wanted to.
The weather turned windy and cold. Darkness stole over the field. I shivered uncontrollably, since I had failed to check the weather and bring a jacket. At the same time, the sunburn of my stupidity caused my arms, neck, and legs to radiate heat. My hand’s poison-ivy-type affliction had been inflamed by the heat of the early afternoon. In short, I was miserable.
Arriving home, I ate super with my family – the last supper we will have together until mid-June. I went to take a shower, eager for its noise to stifle the sound of the sobs I knew were coming. I’ve felt like this so many times before. Depressed by what I haven’t gotten done. Downtrodden by the seeming uselessness of what I do with my life. Wondering why God seems so far away. Questioning why this happens to me over and over and over again.
Earlier that morning, I had met Mrs. Stewart for breakfast so we could catch up. And one of the things we had discussed was C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, and how we rarely think about the evil part of the unseen realm. That night, sitting in my bedroom and still fighting the urge to cry, I realized that part of what I was feeling could be a spiritual attack. I prayed, asking God for the strength to live for Him and Him alone so that I wouldn’t feel these nagging regrets so constantly. While I still didn’t want to head back to college, I was able to move past my pity party and get myself packed up and ready.
After a restless night’s sleep, I woke up to once again face reality. Nathan was delivered to the airport to return to USAFA in Colorado Springs. And I decided to go to church with my dad and mom rather than face the questions at my home church. God knew that was just what I needed. Throughout the worship time before the sermon, He spoke to me through the songs as the tears flowed down my cheeks. “Rest and trust in Me, My child,” He said. “I am the only source of satisfaction.”
The pastor spoke from the letter to the Laodiceans in Revelations 3:14-20. He said the problem with that church was that it was useless to Christ. In order to be of any use to Christ, the body of believers must maintain an open door in their relationship to Christ (vs. 20).
As my parents and I drove through the gloomy, chilly, misty weather to North Texas where I’d be catch a ride back to school, my heart was singing of God’s faithfulness. It was well with my soul, even if circumstances were not exactly to my liking.
All those happenings of yesterday don’t mean that today has been easy. On the contrary, I have battled more gloomy chilly weather, fought with technology, and felt overwhelmed by the rat race of school. But I know deep down inside that there is a better way, IF I take my eyes off what I see and focus on Christ. Doing all things for His honor and glory alone is the only way to find satisfaction and contentment in this life. Everything else is like chasing after the wind. May it be true of me through His power and to His glory alone.