Sunday, August 6, 2006

Counting down...

6 days till I leave, 9 till I move in, 9 and 10 till I get to see my friends again... I'm ready to go.

- Chris

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Blessed

This is going to turn out a bit different than it sounded like it was going to last night, for a number of reasons which I'll make clear as I go.

I'm going to start by copying over the entry I wrote in my Bible study journal today, and then expand on the thoughts I put down there:

It's both encouraging and frustrating looking back through the last 4 months in my study journal. It's encouraging in the sense that God's preparation of my heart and mind for the the difficulties that have arisen this summer is so incredibly evident. It's discouraging and frustrating in the sense that I just didn't get it. That no surprise by now, of course, since that's what we do as human beings. And I can definitely see that - even in spite of my own failure to really get what He was telling me in places - the Lord was enabling me to walk through the things then ahead of me, though I wasn't aware of it. He certainly has used the specific verse and passages he'd shown me this summer in my heart, though I didn't realize it until today. I'm left saying, "great is His faithfulness."

What is most encouraging (though there's a bit of conviction with it) is that this revelatory experience for my heart has made me see studying Scripture in a whole new way. The passage I read today may seem to have nothing to do with what I'm going through right now, but God is using it all the same if I'm studying what He's put on my heart to study. We don't know what He's preparing us for with the passages He's taking us through in His word. The encouragement, then, is that even when we don't seem to be having fruitful times of study, God is planting those parts of His word in us so they'll be ready when we need them. The conviction arises in that once more I need to take my eyes off of myself and put them on Him - because when it comes right down to it, requiring God's leading and teaching to be applicable to what I'm dealing with right now in the way I want it to be applicable is downright self-absorbed - and more than a bit silly.

The moral of the story here ends up being that "not feeling like I'm getting anything out of my study time" is never a valid excuse not to study. The so-called dry times we go through are often preparation for another season when we're going to need to call on that which God has showed us and hidden in our hearts. When we're so caught up in "What does this mean for me right here and right now?" we're apt to miss what God is trying to do in our hearts, and even more likely to miss even the things He is trying to minister to us in the here and now.

The other lesson to be learned is that we really do need to be "remembrancers" of the things that God has done, the words He has given us, the lessons He has taught us. When we forget to look back and see those things, it's really easy to repeat our mistakes, and to have to relearn the same lesson. That's one of the main reasons that I do journal for my Bible study: it gives me a place to look back and see how much the Lord has worked in my life, and it gives me an opportunity to be reminded of things He's told me before that are applicable right now. Instead of having to relearn it, we can simply be reminded of it.

---

As for what's been going on in the rest of my life, I can truthfully say that, while my heart remains heavy, it's heavy in the sense of having a great deal of concern for the situation these two friends are in. Yes, there's still a bit of hurt, and a bit of anger in me. The Lord has given me the grace and the strength to deal with those, though. And honestly, they're fading, because my concern for my friends far outweighs my own emotional loss in the midst of the situation. I continue to take each of them and the whole situation to the Lord in prayer, because that's the only thing that's going to make a difference. All my words will fail, because however eloquent I manage to be, I can't change people's hearts. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. And only divine intervention is going to take this from the bad situation it is to a good one. My prayer is that they don't have to suffer the kind of hurt they're headed toward - and that, should they choose to go ahead into it, God will work it for good nevertheless.

You are the King of all
You are the Lord on high
You are our God who reigns over earth and sky
There is no one like You
No one else we will praise
And we come to sing - Glory to Your name
Glory to Your name

Thank you for the spring, oh Lord
Thank You for the fall You made
Thank You for the summer and the winter and the night and day
Thank You for every season You've made

Thank You for a time to laugh
Thank You for a time to cry
Thank You for times of grief and times of pain and times to soar so high
Thank You for every single day

Grace and peace be with you all in Him.

- Chris

Tomorrow...

I know, it's been a while since I updated, and that after that absurd flurry there. Sorry to anyone who's been wondering what's up. It's late now, so I'll try to post a fuller update tomorrow. *bleary eyed*

- Chris