"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." -- I'm pretty sure he was looking into the future when he penned these words and he saw me sitting, suffocating, laughing, smiling, gasping for air, crying uncontrollably, having the time of my life. How is something so good and so bad? Can these emotions be so strong and so real and yet so contradicting? Could life be filled with these times that we will one day look back and say "They were the best of times, they were the worst of times. and I wouldn't change a thing." I like to think that I wouldn't change a thing. Satan is fighting with all his strength to block my perspective in believing that these CAN be the best of times and the worst of times. They can be the most challenging time of my twenty-one years. and Yet, He is faithful.
"But the Lord is faithful and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." II Thessalonians 3:3
This week has been unreal. We have been pushed beyond belief with deadlines, assignments, and commitments and all the while we are forced to embrace learning about spiritual warfare. I suppose they start you off learning about the one thing that can defeat your ministry faster than anything else. It is the ultimate battle of the mind. It is constant and surging among those attempting to live out their faith in a way that would be pleasure and glory to our King.
Jerry Rankin, The president of the IMB, stated," Be careful because it's not the elephants in your life, but the termites that will get to you." How true. We are not usually fighting a war against against drug addiction, perverted lifestyles, or suicidal thoughts, we are fighting against the everyday sins that Satan has allowed us to believe that we will never overcome. I am fighting feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, guilt from past sins, prideful feelings, jealous feelings, and these are just a few that God has brought to my attention as I seek for him to reveal the unclean corners of my earthly heart. As much as these things are true, praise the Lord that we are not fighting FOR victory but we are fighting FROM victory. the battle is won. Christ is victorious. We are no longer slaves to our sins. We have been covered with the Blood of Jesus. Though I am not able, I am inadequate, He chose me. and with the Holy spirit's power in my life His power will be made perfect in my weaknesses.
This is simply the tip of the iceberg of what we are learning here. We have been encouraged to decide whether we would want to be shipped home or cremated and shipped back if we are to die. The idea is overwhelming, but I am confident that the one who has led me here will carry me home. Whether that is in Alabama or Heaven who's to say, but i will be carried nonetheless and That is a peace that passes all understanding.
Pray that I would have phsyical stength, especially back strength through the long hours of class.
Pray that God would make me soft clay in his hands and that I would empty myself of me so that I can be filled with more of him.
Pray that I my burden for the Colombian people would grow daily as I am reminded that they are not simply a people group to the creator of all, but they are his sons and daughters waiting to come hom.
Pray for the Colombians as they are ripped from their homes as a result of drug wars, being internally displaced, poor housing and health, and a lostness masked in Roman Catholicism.
Pray that God would soften your hearts for the nations and that he would reveal his heart for the nations to you this very day.
"Look to the nations and watch-- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5