Thinking about 'spurring one another on.' I want to tell you about the small group I'm a part of, how wonderful it is, how every week I understand a little more. And it is something else entirely to be with a group of people who love God, half understanding in regard to language, and in regard to something else understanding more deeply than you know how to put into your own English. Brothers and sisters, indeed, with hearts all longing for the same thing.
This is glorified, I'm sure of it, in the sense that it's only one side. Let's not forget being so tired (I have been physically, although not as much emotionally, exhausted lately) and of course this crazy back-and-forth I've been having with God that basically amounts to spending half the time praying he would just take something away if it wasn't of him and then walking around scowling in the meantime because I'm so frustrated.
Without being more specific, I will say that I have realized two things. The first has to do with impatience, something I'm up to my ears in here between not being immediately fluent in Romanian and everything else. It's not so cut and dry, though. For example, I waited six months longer than I thought I would to come here (sounds so much shorter than it felt) with no idea of when I would. Had I known I'd be leaving in February, it wouldn't have been so hard, I don't think. When you have a date to focus on, it's easier to dig in, to shoulder through. Even if you are certain something will happen, not knowing when throws it into spinning. So here I realize that if I knew things like when, I would be living for those whens. Holding out for them, waiting on thing, going toward them--as opposed to living for my God. I hate not knowing when. And when I do know when, it appears as though I am trusting in the assurance of that rather than the assurance of my Father's promise to work all things according to his purposes, to never forsake me.
I am reminded that God is determined to be the God of my whole life.
And I would have him be
...except for the fear that comes from uncertainty, the thing that makes me gather more manna than I need for today, that makes a god of my own ability to provide for myself. Why is this such a difficult thing? Don't I already know--haven't I already seen?--that God is good, that he provides, that his will is perfect?
What I love about this most is that the gentle nudgings of my God turn me back toward him and every time I find a Father waiting with patience and open arms. Don't get me wrong, he is a jealous God. And he is good. My hope, my life, these things are wrapped up in his will. Thy will be done--I want that, I really do. And there is joy in it.
And then there is the reminder that I am not at this alone--last night at OSCEB I was able to understand everything (everything!) because most of it was translated from English. And it was one I needed to understand. It's easy to forget that we're all wrestling with this back and forth, this self-control. And I know we all have something that does this to some degree or another. Makes us prone to wander, has us forgetting we are free from sin's hold, that would have us hoarding manna rather than trusting the one true God.
Maybe I am like an Israelite, but I am not lost in the desert. And God is good, faithful as the morning.
From Hebrews last night:
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." 10:23
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such oppression from sinful min, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." 12:1-3
Running toward you, holding unswervingly.