God Can Speak Through Other Books
What? God can do that?!
Yes, it’s true. 🙂
Tonight He spoke to me through a book called Hind’s Feet on High Places (a must-read, in my opinion), by Hannah Hurnard, and what she says at the end of the chapter called “In the Mist” applies directly to my life right now.
The main character, named Much-Afraid, is on a journey to the high places with her two guides, Sorrow and Suffering, who were given to her by the Shepherd, and she has been walking through a huge forest of mist for day upon day. Finally, she passes through it to the other side she meets the Shepherd along the way. A glimmer of hope touches her heart. This is an excerpt from page 142-3, and I want you to know that I feel exactly the same.
But first, Please Pray!
- Please pray against Self-Pity, Resentment, and Doubt.
- Please pray that I have opportunities to share the gospel with my colleagues.
- Please pray for me to be present in the moment. I am really thinking about home and family, and if I am not careful, I will miss my self back to the USA and fall away from God’s hopes for me here.
- Please pray for joy to come!
[Much-Afraid is talking to the Shepherd]
She told him all the dismal tale of their long wanderings in the mist, the way Resentment, Bitterness, and Self-Pity had been bothering her and her fear that perhaps, after all they had wandered from the path and lost their way [as Resentment, Bitterness, and Self-Pity had been telling her].
“Did you really think that I would let you stray from the right path to the High Places without doing anything to warn you or prevent it?” asked the Shepherd quietly.
She looked at Him sorrowfully and said with a sigh, “When Resentment and the others are shouting at me I am almost ready to believe anything, no matter how preposterous.”
“You had better become a singer,” said He, smiling. “Then you won’t hear what they say to you. Ask Sorrow and Suffering if they have any more songs which they can teach you. Do you find them good guides, Much-Afraid?”
She looked at Him earnestly and nodded her head. “Yes, very good. I never could have believed it possible, Shepherd, but in a way I have come to love them. When I first saw them they looked so terrifyingly strong and stern, and I was sure that they would be rough with me and just drag me along without caring how I felt. How I dreaded it, but they have dealt with me very, very kindly indeed… I never could have managed without them.”
[And later, she says,]
“…I am often very frightened at the things which you ask me to do,” she added shamefacedly and apologetically, “but I could never doubt You in that way. It’s myself I am afraid of, never of You…” (p.145).
These are my same words to the Shepherd now.
I never thought I would be this weak. Do you know the hardest part about this is admitting that I am afraid? That I am weak? That I cry a lot? That I feel so needy and pathetic here? I am used to having people tell me I am strong, and believing myself to be so, and being the encourager and the strong one… and now look at me. I am constantly in tears, cannot seem to rise above what is facing me, and I almost doubted God to the point of quitting my job or cutting my hours back! I do not like being this me. This is honesty, and this is what a missionary faces. I know I am not the only one. So, please, if you know a Christian who is serving in a place not their own, pray for them as you pray for me. They probably have gone through or are going through the same Mist.
The Story Doesn’t End There
But! As I alluded to in my last post, I have also come to what I think may be the end of the misty “Forest” (or at least a clearing close to its edge) and have seen a glimmer of light.
This past week has had its ups and downs, but this time there has been more ups than downs.
I tell you, now after I laid down my will on that hill last Tuesday, and decided to actually listen for God’s voice, and accepted His answer, I really do feel peace that passes understanding. I can actually say that I look forward to learning how to teach. That is not to say that it will be easy from here on out, Hah! If only. But now I have stopped fighting God. I can be quite stubborn sometimes, it’s true. Here’s a piece of advice: For your information, God is always right. Don’t try to fight against God: You won’t win.
This past week was “Review Week” for my 6th grade class… a daunting challenge for me that turned out to be a fun experience. Yes– Fun! I can actually say I had fun in my 6th grade class on Friday, and I received some good feedback from one of my students who is a little more of a trouble-maker. He said that the class really enjoyed the games that we played because their last teacher’s idea of a game was to force them to be quiet and watch him eat his breakfast everyday. At least I know I am doing something right.
- Please pray for my students to realize that Christ makes all the difference! I have been very open with them that I am a Christian, and I usually try to use sentences about God for their vocab lists each week.
- Please pray for inquisitiveness and questions about eternity to enter their minds. Pray that they would be comfortable telling me about what they believe and asking questions about what I believe.
- Please pray for deaf ears, blind eyes, and protection from those who would take offense at the Gospel in my school. Pray for parents specifically on this subject, as I know that some of my students probably tell their parents about the things I say in class.
Pray for me as I begin teaching phonics– a whole ‘nother ballgame in 1st grade. Now that I have taught them the alphabet, I have to teach them how to read… go figure. 🙂
Photo Time! or rather, I Got a Raise!
I have been able to play on the worship team twice now; this week and last week. Last week was hard because I had trouble focusing on worshiping God while playing, but this week I was determined not to let my instrument ‘get in the way,’ so to speak. I played with a tall, lanky Taiwanese guy named Van who sang, a full-time missionary named Sarah who is the worship leader and played guitar, and my friend and fellow intern from Toccoa Falls College, Allen, who played the cajon. We all prayed to be able to intentionally worship God during our time on stage, and guess what? God blessed us with exactly that.
It feels good to use my talent of piano to serve God here. That is an answer to prayer!
Oh, and guess what?
This week I got a raise! I was being watched for a couple months to see what my skill level was and management style and whatnot, and at the end of the period my boss was going to decided whether to raise my pay from $600 NT (New Taiwan Dollars)/ hour to $610… and this week she took me aside and said that starting next paycheck, they will give me not $610, but $620 an hour! (That is $19.25 in US Dollars.)
“I am making a way for you to buy a piano,” God said last Tuesday, the Tuesday on the hill. Yes, he is. God is provider. Of money, but moreso of ‘all that we need for life and godliness’ (2 Peter 1:3).
Keep the Faith
Faith keeps You