For the longest time I’ve always wanted to be at that moment where I just expected God to be who God says He is, like, I didn’t have to try. I wanted it to be my default reaction.
That happened today 🙂
God is continuously showing me that He provides, that financially speaking (which seems to be, I’m also learning, the world’s second language, the first, I think, being the pursuit of happiness) He’s got me covered. He’s put me in a place. He’s given me a purpose and a task. He’s going to give me the tools to do so. He tells me right in 2 Corinthians (I’m becoming very fond of this particular book of the Bible) chapter ten, that He “is able to make all grace abound to you, (to me) so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (v. 8). Actually, just reading that, I found verse ten to say this: “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your (my) seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your (my) righteousness.” This just goes right back to God not only putting me in a place with a task, but also giving me all the tools I need to do what is good and right in His eyes, to grow in Him and to deepen my knowledge of who He is.
A couple of days ago God brought to my attention (much more gently than I deserved at the time) an awful habit I’d been subconsciously developing. One of the first conversations I ever had with Jacob was about being deliberate in my application of God’s word to my life, in picking up my Sword and actually using it to fight, defend, protect myself and others from the attacks of the enemy. I remember so many pastors, whether it be in church or at seminars or retreats or wherever, using “the chair” illustration. We can believe that a chair will hold our weight. We can look at it, and be like “yeah, looks sturdy.” But it doesn’t matter what we believe if we never sit on the thing. Granted, this illustration is more or less referring to salvation, people who say “Yes, I believe in God,” but don’t actually strive to let Him have their lives, let Him have control of every area of their lives and look at Him as more than just a crutch to get through life.
Well, I was kind of doing that with scripture. There’s a reason why in Ephesians 6 the word of God is described as a Sword, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (v. 17). So, it’s the sword that the Holy Spirit, which thrives within me, uses to fight the attacks of the enemy.
For a couple of days or so I was sitting in the middle of a battlefield, my Sword sitting in front of me in the grass. Every once in a while I would poke it, turn it over, even when the enemy came and knocked me flat on my back I would continue to kind of just look at the weapon designed to strengthen, encourage, protect, and defend me, believing it was meant to protect and defend me, believing without a doubt that it could do what its Maker said it could, but not actually picking it up and using it to win.
It’s not that I wasn’t studying the word. No. But it was that I was studying the word and meditating on it but not practically applying it when faced with temptation, and instead trying to just convince myself of different things that were putting me in the right direction but only for a moment before the enemy attacked again. Let’s just say my Sword’s in my hand now.
I handed in my short story, and decided (with Bree’s help, staying up until one in the morning on Thursday trying to figure out what to do) to just write what I enjoy writing instead of thinking so much about it. We’ll see what goes down.
In World Civ. on Thursday morning I had a great conversation with Allie about God and about Christians and about different things. After Studio, my classmates and I made an ice-cream run and I genuinely enjoyed spending time listening to what they thought about different things, and nothing vulgar or uncomfortable came up in our conversations 🙂
Last night I skyped with Julie and really enjoyed talking to her about everything that’s going on. My mom has been recovering from surgery on her esophagus (don’t freak out) all week, and she can’t speak, so I’ve been very good about not skyping her or calling her on the phone.
Today, after battling spiritually most of the night, I woke up to spend time with God. Today’s Bible Study was about being weak, about how the world might see a Christian who waits on God and goes to Him for direction as indecisive, when in reality it’s the exact opposite. It’s much easier to make a quick decision than it is to wait and be patient and give God the opportunity to be Himself in your life.
I headed out to the internship after grabbing breakfast and finishing my time with God. The ride there was nice, sunny, uneventful, and quick. Carrying my bike up the stairs onto the Brooklyn Bridge was no problem at all, and the bike felt much lighter.
I spent the majority of the day staring at my computer, reading my Bible and quoting scripture to fight, and talking to my boss and the other people in the office about their weeks and about their plans for Thanksgiving. When asked about mine, I proceeded to tell them, concealing my excitement, that I was going home for Thanksgiving and then on a road trip with my best friends to see their brother, a soldier at Ft. Campbell, though to me, it’s going on an adventure with Hannah and Beth, going to see Jacob and getting to know all of them better and growing in them with Christ. Did I mention I’m excited? Well, I am 😀 (SO. EXCITED).
I’d been nervous throughout the day about leaving at 5 like I normally do and not making it back to Pratt before it became incredibly dark. But my boss ended up telling me I could leave an hour early 🙂 Thank you, Jesus.
I headed home, and the ride back, like the ride there, was nice, uneventful. When I got back, I went straight to the post office on campus. While on break in the office, I’d gotten an email that I had a letter. I went in, swiped my card, and was given a large amount of money written on check, given to me by Pratt for a scholarship that just happened to come in a week preceding. The amount was more than enough to provide for the Ft. Campbell trip and for Christmas presents, the two things I’d been praying over for a while, and several other expenses.
But the odd thing is that I would normally, on occasions such as this, cry because of disbelief, shock. But up until this point, God had grown in me a confidence in His ability to provide. I knew He was going to provide. After all, He’d made everything come about and caused all sorts of opportunities to open up, giving me the “OK” to go forward with them, including the Ft. Campbell trip. So when I received the check, it wasn’t so much “I can’t believe it!” It was more like “Yep. God provides.”
Do not mistake me: God’s provision is still amazing, still breathtaking, still wonderful, but it’s no longer a surprise to me, or at least it wasn’t today. Because God is God, and He’s who He says He is, and He keeps His promises, and He provides, and He is active in everyday life, in the things most people worry about.
I think I’ll be learning this lesson for the rest of my life, but it’s okay. I’m kind of excited about it 🙂
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:25-33, ESV)
I skyped with my mom, since she could speak now, and it was nice to see her face 🙂
So, some advice. Along with learning about how God provides, about how, yeah, He really is who He says He is, even in the padded, pampered society of America we citizens get to savor every day, learning about God’s grace and His power, about the power of His word and especially just the name of Jesus Christ, I’ve also learned some other rather important things, having to do with relationships.
The night Jenny and I baked things to put into Jacob’s care package, we had a long discussion about relationships and marriage and things, which is a common topic talked about when Christian women get together. Anyway, while we were talking, the prospect of praying for future husbands came up. And I brought up my habit of, if there should ever be someone I cared for in my life, should they not be God’s plan for me, praying for their wife. Yes. I know many Christian women pray for their future husbands, and I’m sure some Christian men pray for their future wives. But, ladies, especially, when you like a guy, when you care for him, first of all, take him to God in your heart. Be sure that you constantly bring this man before God, asking God what He thinks, does He approve? Then, pray for the man’s wife. Whoever, wherever she may be, she might just not be you, and you, as a dignified daughter of the High King, want to be sure you’re protecting this man’s heart and mind for his wife as much as he should be. And, should she actually be you and the two of you end up together, serving God together and growing in him, then you’ll have been indirectly praying for yourself the entire time 🙂 And how cool is that?
I can’t stress the importance for women, and I address you ladies reading specifically because I know how your brains think because, well, I am one of you :P, to be ladies, to really strive to be dignified in Christ and really work to bring everything to Him, especially having to do with relationships. Be sure to challenge that man to be a gentleman by your being a lady, and when I say “being a lady,” I mean a part of the Bride of Christ, I mean being Christ’s lady. I realize this is a bit random, but it’s been on the brain and the heart and I’ve found myself constantly bringing it up in prayer.
What I guess I’m trying to say is this: The moment a man comes into your life, when you’ve been single for a long time, when you feel like the Missionary Ken to your Bible Barbie has somehow gotten lost in the great sea of life and then there’s someone who might be him, PLEASE, stand firm in your faith, stand firm in your waiting on God. Just because there’s a good Christian man in your life does not mean God should be any less your Lord and Savior. Still spend time with Him, still bring everything before Him, still be patient and wait for His approval. God knows you better than you do, and He knows the heart, mind, past, present, and future of that young man, so if He says ‘no’, please trust Him. If He says ‘yes’, oh, please trust Him 🙂
Have a good night everyone.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
—Proverbs 31:25,26, ESV