Three short days ago, we were here:
Peurto Vallarta, Mexico. One of the loveliest places on the planet, I’m sure. We relaxed with good friends, listened to the ocean as we read on the beach, went horseback riding along a river and swimming in a waterfall, and adventured through the hills of the Puerto Vallartan jungle with a jeep and a butterfly net. It was glorious.
Mexico made me forget my worries, put away my anxieties, breathe easier. All my responsibilities and stressful obligations were miles away, and tropical paradise gave me a full-armed, five-day-long hug.
Thursday, the morning we woke up to leave Mexico, I was sick to my stomach. Flying to Dallas the sore throat developed. And by the time we landed in Chicago, I had body aches as well as a terrible headache to accompany my other lovely symptoms. Friday morning I woke up at 5:45am to leave for an 8-hour day of clinical with a stuffy nose to add to the mix.
I survived that day at clinical (thanks in part to my awesome clinical site, which–although disgustingly far away–is a really wonderful place to be in clinic), slept nearly all day Saturday and Sunday, and unfortunately my body is still protesting my return to real life through physical ailment. This is my last day I have to myself to do work before an exam tomorrow and two days of clinical this week, so there’s no more time for recuperation through rest.
It’s been a rough semester. A rough start to year #2. My body, mind, and soul are crying out for a month long vacation. Mexico was a welcome time of rest, but life in Chicago is still as crazy as it was before I left. I keep thinking things will settle down, but I’m not sure where I’ve gotten the idea that they will.
The thing is, I need some perspective. Because if I fail at everything, the world will keep turning. The salvation of the world does not depend on whether I succeed at everything I’ve committed to. And isn’t it true that the Creator of the Universe has got my back? At the end of the day, God is King, and I can’t do anything apart from Him anyways. There are SO many people in the world who are burdened by far worse than anything I can even imagine. And there are SO many people who are doing work where the stakes are SO much higher than they are for me right now. I’m a student, for heaven’s sake. What in the world could possibly go so wrong?
I came across this today:
“Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties upon him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11, ESV)
Wow. That’s a whole lot more than the simple, “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” that we tend to quote. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. The God of all grace will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Lord, protect me from my adversary. Make me not an easy target. May I hope in the truth that God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me.
Jesus is Lord, the Spirit is my comforter, and God the Father is sovereign over all the earth. Let us remember this! The Lord has brought me to this place, he has called me to this work (and not any other work I sit and daydream about), and I want to be a faithful steward of my calling. Lord, forgive me for my lack of faith, strengthen me to do your will, make me strong and courageous.
Oh, how we need to be daily ministered to by the work of the Spirit. Let us encourage one another in faith. Xoxo.