Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Filled Cisterns

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." -- Isaiah 43:19

Today was not the day I expected. In fact, I began an entry last night on here that was going to go in a very hopeless direction -- if you can even call it a "direction," because I didn't know what to say. I didn't finish it because I was just too weary and unhappy for some reason. I'm jet-lagging pretty badly, and I was feeling a bit under the weather. More than anything, my personal demons seemed to be out to get me. We can talk about them sometime if you'd like.

I should know by now, though, that the times I face the most trouble getting through my day-to-day life are the times that I should be prepared for something incredible, and that all that opposition is only pointing towards something worth pushing for.

It began on a rather positive note, as I had lunch with a good friend and had the chance to talk a bit more about my summer plans. I have to be honest: I am terrified of what I might do. It scares the living daylights out of me to think about flying across the globe and living there for 6 weeks, sharing the gospel in a place where I am not allowed to. I have a hard enough time telling my closest friends about my faith, let alone someone whose country I am pretty much sneaking into for the purpose of spreading the good news I have heard, and really do want others to hear too. Talking about it definitely encouraged me, but I still left with fears in my heart. I kept finding reasons to doubt that it was such a good idea, from the obvious perils of speaking Christ's name there to my concern that I wouldn't raise the support, to my worry that I would never find the words to say to convey just how near and real the Lord is to just one other person.

I was seriously doubting God's ability to move and be felt.

When I stop and think about it, how foolish does someone have to be to even try predicting what an Almighty Creator will do? If He has set a task before someone and has promised to stand behind him no matter what, does He not have all the power and ability to do so? I get so irritated that my mind can so frequently wander into the ridiculous idea that the Lord is bound by anything and cannot do what He wishes or has promised to do.

At the beginning of this semester, I spent a lot of time thinking about the building I live in. There are hundreds of people living here, too. A lot of them are in the Honors College, so they're fairly intelligent, to say the very least. I wondered how many intelligent people thought they were too intelligent to believe in hope beyond what the world around them says so clearly and tangibly, here and now. I also wondered how many, despite the constant push to reject anything having to do with any God at all, would hold strong to belief that we could not be so broken and thirsty for love if it was all an accident. I thought a lot about being able to meet with them and just pray for our fellow students together. It was a fleeting thought, but a recurring thought. I didn't know where I'd begin trying to see that happen.

That's probably because it wasn't going to be my job to do that. But I didn't know that yet.

Tonight, though, my roommate (who is super awesome) told me that a guy who lives across from us and one of his friends came to her, and she invited them in. They said that they had been meeting at night with some others to pray together -- about USF, about our lives, about whatever. They knew she was involved in campus ministry and were pretty sure that I was, too, and asked us if we'd be interested in joining them.

Guys, this is the weirdest coincidence I've ever experienced. Never has something I had thought about so much happened exactly how I imagined it, and totally beyond my control.

It just so happened that others were thinking the same thing, and that I somehow would be drawn in.

Sitting in that circle praying with people that I barely knew, I got really overwhelmed. The words I spoke probably sounded shaky and weird (well, they did to me, haha). All the times I accused the Lord of being inactive, lazy, invisible, all came rushing back to me in a tornado of wonder. He does good things, and does them in a way that defies explanation. A long time ago, the above scripture from Isaiah really jumped out at me, and I've clung to it ever since when I needed to know that He is not finished yet.

And He isn't.

I have reason to take heart about the future, and the plans that are falling into place for me. I have reason to be thrilled and privileged to share the truth of the gospel with people who may have never heard Jesus' name in their lifetimes. I have reason to expect results when I ask others to pray for my support money to fall into place. I have reason to believe that no matter what happens -- a comfortable trip home at the end or being forcibly kicked out of the country -- the Lord is sovereign and good, and that He is well pleased with me, because I am His daughter and He isn't shredding up the adoption papers for anything.

I am so grateful that in the midst of all my cries out to the Lord, asking Him why I am stranded in a desert of all things dead and dry, He opens streams and rivers of living water on the day He chooses, and they will be fruitful.

Praise the One who knows the beginning and the end, and stays true to His word.

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