I should have something from the event in the next few days--and I'm really looking forward to writing it out--but all kinds of different things happened today. It was full, to say the least, in ways that were good and ways that were hard. And I started writing about that instead, so I think I'll post that and save the rest for a little bit later.
Father, this has been a really good day and a really hard day. You are the one true God and I know that. But it's hard to not feel, what? weighed down? when all day long all I hear is lies. I know that's what they are, I can recognize them for what they are and I thank you for that but I need some help standing under it all.
It started out in my religion class and the similarities between Islam and Christianity. I know, in my heart I know that Jesus is the Savior, that only through him can I be reconciled to you, but even while I see where Islam is wrong, parts of it almost mirror the Old Testament. Technically, by the Qur'an's own standards "God will judge me" but for a second there I got scared too: it's a big thing to be wrong about. And even in that I see the lie. Hope in Christ has nothing to do with fear. By the end of the class I'd come to the conclusion that Satan works his best lies out of truth. I don't know too much of the history, but by the year 500-something, Christianity was doing something. So he took some of God's truth and threw in the lie that Christ is not the Savior and mixed up some 'good works will get you to God' and ran with it.
I have nothing to fear. God--my King and my father--you are Lord and you are good. And sovereign.
So. Add the miniature bombardment from this morning to my Spanish class today. To hear 'God is dead, Dios esta muerte' over and over again just wears down. I don't know what it is. I've heard that before. But she just went on and on about it, talking about how the idea of a God is just a figment of our imaginations for comfort and so on. It's not that I believe her--it's just a lot, it's hard. I know that, like my friend said, as a missionary I will be putting myself out on the front lines. This is something--well, I don't know. I need to put on the full armor of Christ, as it says.
And God, I thank you for not exactly sending me a person to work all this out with and feel better, but instead you sent your Spirit (the comforter!) and led me to the Psalms where I came across Psalm 57. This could not have been more perfect. 'I will take refuge in the shadow of your wing' and 'he sends from heaven and saves me,' from verses 1 and 2. And then verse 4: 'I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts--men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.' They are. They are cunning lies, but they are lies. 'Be exalted, O God.' And again, 'They spread a net for my feet--I was bowed down in distress.' I feel like it's so easy to get entangled and dragged down.
But then the Psalm turns to the truth about God, or rather the response to God's goodness and unchanging nature. 'My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn!' That's huge. I love how urgent it sounds, how excited. Quick, wake up and praise the Lord and awaken the dawn! It goes on, it's so good.
I ended here--I had to go to a meeting. But reading back over it now I'm really encouraged. It's easier, too, considering a good portion of the meeting was spent in scripture and in prayer, but I think among the things this is teaching me is how to go to God. There wasn't really anyone else and how good a thing that turned out to be! What's especially exciting is that now I can point other people to this Psalm, encourage them.
Hrmm. Not sure how to end this one. It started because I just felt beat up today, all the great things that happened aside. But it all came back around. And for reasons I'll write about later, and for the ones I'm coming to now, awake, my soul! Let's awaken the dawn.