Okay. The tornado of homework and sleeplessness has stopped for a second.
I don’t remember finals week(s) being this strenuous last year. But I certainly have much more homework and many more projects to complete. I feel like all I ever talk about is finals week, but hey, it’s kind of what’s going on. There are of course other things going on, but I’m not quite sure how to write about those just yet, which is a bummer because THEY ARE SO AMAZING. Alas, they’re those amazing things that have left me without words. I can’t even describe what’s going on in my head right now. It’s like, happy exhaustion and fatigued excitement, but it won’t go away. It’s weird. But wonderful. But weird. But definitely, most definitely, without a doubt, wonderful.
Yesterday during basketball practice I was reminded of how easy it is for me to run, how running has never been the problem…it’s just the whole running-while-basket-balling thing that’s throwing me off. I just can’t get the running plus bouncing the basketball. But otherwise, basketball practice has provided a wonderful outlet for excess energy and stress from projects and homework.
God is good 🙂
Today was a bit rough. But I welcomed two realizations that really shouldn’t have been realizations but they were any way: Next week I go home. Also, it’s almost Christmas.
Sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in the To-Do lists and the homework and the plans and the wrapping of presents (which I still am completely incapable of doing) and forget that God’s got it all under control. Sometimes it’s really easy to freak out and have a panic attack and think, “Oh my goodness every decision I make will have catastrophic consequences and the entire fate of the world rests on whether or not I survive finals week without going completely insane,” and sort of forget that this is only two weeks out of my entire life and that God is able to use me whether I “survive” finals week or not.
I ended my study with Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur and became very interested in more closely studying the life of David, just because, so I grabbed a fresh notebook and started right in the book of 1 Samuel, to gain background information on Samuel and Saul before heading right into David. While I know the account of Samuel and his interaction with Saul, as well as Saul’s rise and then fall, I wanted to know exactly what happened, all of the specifics, because God doesn’t just use the big things, but also the small things. Also, how can I live in light of God’s word without knowing what it says?
So I started in 1 Samuel, and this morning I read chapter 2, verse 10, which says, “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
Now, this is the tail end of Hannah’s, the co-wife of Elkanah (his other wife was Penninah, and she had no problem having children), prayer of gratitude to God after He’s so wonderfully blessed her with a son, Samuel. It seems like, from what she’s saying, God seems pretty harsh. But then looking back on what just happened, where Hannah was miserable because she couldn’t have children, it’s totally clear that God is the exact opposite of completely unforgiving and judgmental.
Hannah had prayed to God, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head” (1:9-11). But the Lord didn’t have to answer her with a resounding yes. Realistically, He didn’t have to answer her at all. But He did. Because He’s God, and though He’s just, He’s also gracious and loving.
Anyway. What caught my eye was “he will thunder in heaven.” I sat there for a bit trying to imagine God thundering. There are several other places in the Bible where God is shown thundering, particularly in Psalm 2:9, Psalm 18:13, and also 1 Samuel 7:10. 1 Samuel 7:10 was really cool, because, well, here:
“As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel.” So here, God’s thundering is an action He’s taking to protect His people, where as it’s also used to show Him raining down judgment on them in other verses, which just goes to show the balance that exists between God’s loving-kindness and protectiveness of His people and His justice. I thought it was really cool 🙂 Particularly because I’ve talked to a few people lately who are angry with God because He let bad things happen. But I found myself wondering why they only ever sought to blame Him in the dark times and never once discussed how amazing He was in the good times. Hm.
Today was a bit rough, but God is still good 🙂 Sometimes I forget that there’s more to investing in someone than preaching at them. Sometimes it’s enough to just be there to listen to them, to have coffee with them, to talk to them about their day. In fact, that’s really what most of it is. Being able to depend on Christ to help me be a friend, be a good listener, be loving when being loving is most difficult. Today I had to grow in that, and though it was hard, it was so worth it 🙂
Today also happened to be the day that The Day After Tomorrow was destined to happen. Just kidding 🙂 But it did rain, hard, constantly, almost all day. The streets surrounding and walkways and sidewalks passing through Pratt campus were nearly flooded. I walked into Studio dripping water onto the floor.
After German, which I’m struggling to not fret over, considering it really is a dreadfully impossible language to learn, I headed to the subway to go church. Tonight was the Christmas program put on by the students at IBC. When I arrived, I went right to a pew, eventually switching seats to sit next to Laura and her husband, and I was enveloped by the Christmas hymns that echoed throughout the sanctuary. And I talked to God, and talked to Him, and talked to Him, and talked.
And He listened 🙂
I am so glad, so absolutely grateful that God listens. I know it doesn’t make sense for Him to hear what I have to say, and I know I don’t deserve His ready and willing ear, but I also know that I love Him, and that He loves me, and that He enjoys it when I pour my heart out to Him (Psalm 62:8, Jeremiah 29:13), even though He already knows what I’m going to say (Psalm 139).
*Sigh* Yes, I’m very tired. And I won’t lie, the past couple of days have been very difficult and eye-opening and challenging, but God is able to bring me through it, just as He’s brought me through everything else. And as far as finals are concerned, so long as I’ve given everything I’ve got, there’s no reason I should be ashamed of the results.
Satan is constantly pushing fears at me and always striving to trip me up and make me back down from everything, whether it be commitments to homework or studying, friendships, my relationship with Christ, or choosing not to panic or give into my emotions. It’s a war, and it’s constantly being waged, but it’s okay, because Christ hasn’t left me without armor (Ephesians 6:10-18), and He most certainly hasn’t left me without Him 🙂
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” —Psalm 127:1-2, ESV