This evening after eating dinner and catching up on things online, I sat down to pray. It was a very Sweet Hour of Prayer! With a mug of hot tea, I sat down to sing, entreat, bless, and remember the cross of Jesus.
The Lord is so merciful and His peace is so pure.
Even as He was mocked by his creation, he silently endured. Unlike Adam, he did not respond defensively. Jesus' response caused the governor to marvel at him and to call Jesus a just man. "...for the joy that was set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." -Hebrews 12:2 Jesus did not strike back. He did not spit back. He was as harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16). Only a week before, he had ridden into town on a donkey:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey."
I want to grow in the knowledge of my Lord's meek, powerful, and awesome sacrificial love. I want to gain a deeper appreciation for His cross - the place where I deserved to be. As the hymn O Christ, What Burdens Bowed Thy Head says:
"Death and the curse were in our cup:
O Christ, 'twas full for Thee;
That bitter cup, love drank it up;
Now blessing's draught for me."
Work is going, day by day. My list of to do's is quite long (a couple of pages long, in fact!), but I'm taking things one at a time, and the Lord is watching that I'm not overwhelmed. Many coworkers have shown great kindness towards me, as well, and I thank God for all my dear friends and family who are struggling in prayer for me. "For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10b)
I finished going through my boss' files and papers today. I was permitted to keep anything that looked helpful, and the rest was either stored for reference or recycled as our department saw fit. I hope to go through a couple of folders to get a better sense for the history of the program that I'm currently piloting. I may also speak to my new supervisor about the possibility of some training so I can refine my understanding of the field and its direction.
Wednesday night Bible study last night was quite interesting. We discussed the importance of correction and admonishment in the life of the believer. "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid." Proverbs 12:1 We've been working our way through Paul's letter to the church in Corinth, and he told them, "I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children." 1 Corinthians 4:14 While receiving correction is hard, and giving correction is hard, both are beneficial for the pruning of the life of the learner so s/he might bear even more fruit than before.
Tomorrow is Friday, and I'm very excited about it. I don't have any big plans, but I do need to get some chores done. I'm running out of socks! So, I guess it's time to do the laundry. I may take a look at those library books that I got about packet ships, transcribe more MNL (I'm up to 80 pages!), or take a walk if the weather is as nice as they predict. I'm ready for spring. But what this new season and new year will bring, who can say? With my housing limited to a temporary arrangement of unknown duration and my job in a bit of limbo, it's easy to get caught up feeling sorry for myself and thinking only about myself. But as the song says,
"Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?
Let me lift up your face.
Just don't turn away.
Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?
To where will you go, child?
Tell me where will you run.
To where will you run?
'Cause I'll be by your side wherever you fall
Dead of night, whenever you call.
Please don't fight these hands that are holding you.
My hands are holding you." -By Your Side, Tenth Avenue North
Again and again and again in the Bible, God assures His children that He will be with them and that they need not fear. Immanuel. God is with us.
Thank you, Father!