time for some Daniel

danielstatueLast Wednesday I had to let go of The Character of God for good. After weeks and weeks (which felt like months and months) of praying nearly without ceasing, countless emails between professors, and a very emotional meeting with my new clinical instructor, the final answer was no. No with no exceptions. Good try, “Sounds like a great class,” but no.

So here I sit, the following Tuesday in my Daniel class (on break; don’t worry). I was going to give you a big spiel on the whole thing and how I felt about everything, but for some reason each time I sit down to do it, I don’t quite have the inspiration.

The whole point of writing this is to explain how I feel surprisingly at peace with the decision. The Lord has been working in my life through the Daniel class, and last week–the night before I was going to get my professor’s final word–I was actually thinking to myself, “If I’m allowed to remain in The Character of God, I think I’m going to have to seriously consider taking on two Bible classes this semester.” I couldn’t see myself dropping Daniel.

I don’t know exactly why God has kept me from The Character of God. However, I am confident that it is not a part of His will. Think about it. For basically a month straight, I pleaded with God that He would fulfill this desire of mine. Jeremy prayed along with me, as did many friends and family. Undoubtedly God heard our prayers, and is not simply ignoring us.

I’m positive that somehow my absence from The Character of God will allow God’s glory to be shown more than any other circumstance could have. This answer makes the most sense to me when I think about who God is.

So. Yes, it is still disappointing (it wasn’t easy walking into my class and asking Dr. Thoennes to sign my “drop” form), but at least we can all be thankful and full of Praise for a God who is in control of the universe, and so also our little lives.

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how to write

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Jeremy is currently on a quest to improve his handwriting. I kind of enjoy his semi-difficult-to-read print (probably only because I really enjoy HIM), but he feels like having better handwriting would add good things to his life. Last night he found an unbelievable online “illustrated talk,” which touches on some of the history of handwriting and guides the listener/watcher to improvement. Please please visit this link, scroll down the page and check out this “FREE, COMPLETE, UNABRIDGED” guide to handwriting repair (the italic approach). I promise, you will be glad you did.

dust

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Sometimes life just feels hard. I always know in my heart that my life is nowhere near as difficult as someone else’s across the globe or even down the street, but somtimes the weightiness of this world just hits me. I don’t think my job as a Christian is to stand in the face of adversity as though it couldn’t move me. No human is able to withstand the woes of this world (or even our individual lives), even as we believe in a mighty God and savior who can. The only thing we can do is to run to Jesus, asking that he keep us afloat. Kingdom-minded. Set on his will and confident that in the end, he will redeem the whole world.

I had a stressful day. The kind of stress that ends up making you confused about which exact things are making you stressed in the first place. I am a small person with small small concerns in light of eternity. Nevertheless, this cloud of stress wouldn’t leave me alone all day.

Two days ago, I took care of an old Jewish woman who was in the hospital as a result of a bad infection. She felt like she was dying and spent the entire day trying to think of what she did in order that God would punish her with this illness. She wouldn’t talk to the people who loved her most. She wouldn’t eat. She felt like anything good was useless.

Tonight I was in line at Target behind a man I percieved to be homeless. His clothes were fairly ragged and he spoke in such a way that made the man checking him out look at him like he might be crazy. It’s cold outside tonight, and raining, and I wondered what he planned to do for the rest of the evening.

This is what strikes me: Sure, some people’s problems seem much greater than others, and the bigger problems sort of seem to trump the smaller ones. But all the “problems” are real results of sin in the world, and so they’re all connected in a way (and they’re all really there). Even my own stress has some sort of impact; all these less-than-perfect ills require redemption.

AND SO. This world is full of tough things that necessitate redemption and beg for a savior. Thank God he sent us his Son, who is more able than we can know to make things right. It’s times like these we are able to more accurately experience our true need for Him, and begin to appreciate the magnitude of who He is.

Here’s the first stanza (+ a bit more) of Psalm 103 (which I’m memorizing for The Character of God–no, I still don’t have an answer as to whether I can stay in the class):

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me; bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not his benefits, who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your sickness, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the Eagle’s.”

“…the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” That’s good. Well said, psalmist. Well said.