It has been a blessed two weeks. Mission conference was extraordinary, learning so much of what God is doing around the globe and so much that still needs to be done as well. And today is such a special day; so many birthday wishes and eating gyros with my roommate at a Greek restaurant. It blesses my heart to see how many brothers and sisters are thinking about me. It reminds me of how much more my heavenly Father cares and loves us all. He is always there and watching, caring, and loving us.
Since I’ve been back in school I keep hearing one thing “Be still and remain in my peace.” Sometimes I realize what I or any other believer need is not what we always want. Brokenness is what we need! My savior keeps reminding us to relax and remain in his holy presence so that his light will shine in us, so we, like the moon reflects the sun light, will reflect Christ’s light. This means we need to be still in his presence, for when we ignore his peace, he himself feels our pain. Christ continually reminded me last month and this last couple of weeks that his peace in my life is secure and nothing can touch it. Because no circumstance should shake it, I will grow in the blessing of trusting him. Sometimes it’s ok to cry “how long oh Lord,” but always remember this expression should be in a manner of dependency on him.
This reminds me of when we are faced with a broken heart. Before we complain and blame others we should ask God to show us if he is behind it. When I came back to Chicago on Friday, August 26, I went to a retreat with the Moody Men’s collegiate choir. Those two days as I was reading my Bible and doing devotions, I kept coming across one thing: “the mind is deceiving.” Two of my classes really pointed out that reality. Once the mind is defiled it gets the whole body defiled. What a great blessing to have a savior who not only saved us, but continually sanctified us. The Lord led a woman across my path who was in doubt of Christ’s peace in her heart. She thought I ministered to her, but in reality she ministered to me. She sees me at work every morning, and one morning she decided to stop and talk to me. She said, “You seemed to be so joyful I want to hear your story.”
Anyway, I was curious, so I asked her why she wanted to hear my story. It is unusual and sounds so awkward just to walk up to someone and ask them to tell you his or her story. When I asked her what makes her want to hear my story, she told me it was just that she was convicted by my joy, and she has suffer from seizures and had a seizure one time while driving. Based on her response, I asked her how she knew I had seizures, and she jumped in surprise and said, “You have seizures? I had no idea that you had seizures.” It was amazing how God brought us across each other to share how powerful he works in our lives, but uniquely in each one of us.
As we talked, we found how much we have in common and encouraged each other. God was surely glorified. Before this, I woke up every morning literally with tears in my eyes crying and singing to God. It was not because I was mad at God, but I was concentrating too much on these present obstacles rather than remaining in his everlasting peace. God in his mercy still uses me to bring joy to the heart of this servant of his even when I was not trying to. And in return she encouraged me, and now I ask God to make my joy complete. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). When our minds want to focus on the things that are contrary to God’s will, we need to bring them under submission of the inward peace that is only found in Christ. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” (Hebrew 10:23).
There is no better life than this, when a person finds his joy in God’s purpose for his life. The thing is, God purpose for his children’s life is not often just a short straight path to the lives he so desires for them. Sometimes, he leads us out of this worldly focus into a long curved path to the wilderness to be disciplined and sanctified. His calling is not a liberty for this world, but rather a liberty to have an intimate relationship with him. It is a freedom from this world not a freedom for this world.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).