Monday, April 10, 2006

//SABBATH #1 - 18 September 2005//

This week saw the refocusing of a lot of things in my life. A sort of mental block I've gone through since the beginning of the semester is the distracting thought of getting old. One must see the paradox-- I'm only twenty. And yet this semester, many things have felt "old hat" [even I, myself]. School. Homegroup. Being single. Not knowing exactly what I'm doing in life. Etc. I've felt very distracted and a little plagued by anxiety. So, I came to this week and it was probably one of the most ridiculous weeks I've had so far in college, as far as course work goes. I pulled an all-nighter Sunday, then a "till 3am" on Tuesday [etc.]. Anyway, it was pretty miserable. But what was interesting is the fact that as stressed out as I was, I wasn't really anxious. The LORD (YHWH) gave me moments of peace and reminded me even as I was working on a number of papers [simultaneously], that I didn't need to worry. And I didn't. Then I was also assigned to do the teaching on Thursday and of all the weeks to do [it] seemed like this was probably the worst...I mean I had gotten sketchy quiet times at best...I hadn't had a lot of time to think through a teaching--and I wasn't really sure what God was prompting me to talk about. So Wednesday night, right before I was about to go work on my teaching, I went on a prayer walk and there while I was walking, the LORD comforted me and the LORD told me to slow down and He gave me such a peace as I had not had in quite some time. Even as life continues to deconstruct and change all around, God is constant, as David says in Psalm 23, "The LORD is my Shepard, I shall not be in want. [...] I will fear no evil, your rod and your staff, they comfort me." You are my Protector, LORD--You are my Inheritance.

Then after a very good worship time at homegroup and a pretty good teaching and discussion with Danny and Mariana, came a much more (and much needed) laid-back weekend. Friday night I went and helped with the Int'l Bible Study, which both encouraged and challenged in good measure. But what was most encouraging was a meeting time with Ben Yates as I was staying at the Villareal place on Saturday. We were having our weekly discipleship meeting and we got to talking about these issues I've been going through--and Ben made a most encouraging
observation. These were the same issues my dad and I had helped him through in the spring (of this year)..and I realized I had been quite disillusioned on many things. I realize today that I have not been keeping track of the goals I set out [to strive for] at staff retreat.

My dad did a teaching today on the importance of reflection on the Sabbath, so today I have begun the task of recording the events of my spiritual weeks, to know where I have come from. The verse which God struck me with most this week was 2 Cor. 1:3-7 -- "Praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."


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