So even though I am not in Bolivia right now, God has been showing more and more that He is still making beautiful things. There are no pictures of cute kids, but I did want to share what God has been teaching me, because it has been so encouraging!
I have been back from Bolivia for about a month and a half, and finally feel like things are starting to get into a routine. I have had the opportunity to spend this semester taking classes to prepare to go somewhere long term. I am hoping it will be Bolivia, but for now I am waiting to see where God will lead!:) Anyway, all that to say that in the course of this semester God has really been working on my heart, and convicting me of attitudes I didn’t even know where there. So I told my small group of girls that I was praying for God to make me miserable in the things I looked to other than Him for satisfaction/love/acceptance. One of the girls, Hannah, laughed and told me to watch out, but I continued to pray it – because I thought I knew how God would answer it.
I expected to be miserable as I looked to my friends rather than Jesus to make me feel loved and accepted, and although I did, there was something else too. For a couple of weeks, I just felt this weird discontentment, and tried to explain it away and fix it. I thought that I was missing the kids in Bolivia, or maybe that I wasn’t where I needed to be. I tried to figure out this feeling, and couldn’t. Then one night last week I was talking with a friend, Miriam, and told her about the feeling. I told her I had this awful feeling, and couldn’t figure out what it was. I dropped her off at home, and the feeling wouldn’t go away. I drove home asking the Lord to show me, and a song came on the radio that I didn’t like. I almost changed it, but didn’t. The chorus of the song just repeats “Jesus is the answer…” over and over. I had to laugh, because I knew Jesus was the answer, but I had been hoping for something a little more specific. I got out of my car, went inside, and started to write out a prayer. I started to complain to Jesus about how miserable I had been, and then stopped. Until that point I hadn’t described the way I was feeling as miserable, but when I did I laughed. I had been praying for the past two weeks for God to make me miserable in the things I looked to other than Him, and He had. But I had been too blind to see it. I kept thinking that the answer to getting rid of this feeling was to do more. To make myself busier, to build more friendships, or work harder. And as I looked to those things, God made me miserable (like I prayed) so that I could see that that’s not what He wants. He wants us to rest in Him, and His love. He is more than enough to satisfy us, and yet it is so tempting to try to prove ourselves or find our identity in the things He has created, rather than Him.
God brought the verse that says “Be still and know that I am God” to my mind, and so I looked it up. I thought that WAS the whole verse, but saw that there was more. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted among the earth.” I had heard this verse so many times, but only the first part. And the second part is the good part! God does have a heart for all the nations, and He calls us to join Him in what He’s doing, but it’s not in our own strength! He tells us to be still, and to know Him – then he will be exalted!
I want to encourage you to ask the Lord to make you miserable when you look to other things besides Him to make you feel fulfilled. But be smarter than me, and don’t take two weeks to listen. J Be still and know, that He is God. Stop feeling like you need to do more, and remember that Jesus already did more than enough. We can rest in that, and be filled with who He is, so that the whole earth knows!