I feel like the last couple days has been full of reflecting for me. I'm thinking about the future and what it holds. I'm think about trying to find a job, what it will be like going back to california. I think about Brian and his making a decision this week whether or not to stay in Uganda for a couple more months. Things feel uncertain and unsettled, and I feel like I'm bombarded by thoughts and memories. I am struggling to hold on to and dwell on the memories of God's redemption instead of those of failure and sadness. I brought "The Healing Path" with me to work today so I can quote a part that really spoke to me about hope. Remember what I wrote yesterday about hope being the memory of the future. This kinda goes off of that.
"To remember the future is to see tomorrow through the eyes of yesterday. What was yesterday? The loss of a job, victimization, bottomless grief, pointless sacrifice that brought little good? Was it deep struggle, an intense drama and terror that eventually brought us to our knees and to the face of God? Everything hinges on the past. We will project the past into every new moment and either repeat our past themes of victimization or marvel at the work of God in redeeming us in spite of our questions and doubt. What divides the two paths--the healing path from the path of victimization? The answer is simple: desire . . . To remember the future is to dream--to imagine redemption won in the wake of innocence lost. It is to surrender to our insatiable impulse to see the broken pieces of our past cemented together into a stronger whole that existed before our innocence was shattered. To remember the future is to recall and recollect the Exodus drama that took us to the edge of despair only for the waters to part. We move into the future not with a map, a plan, or a clear structure, but with the whisper of a story that reminds us that we will again see the goodness of God in the land of the living."
God has been calling me to hope all this summer, and restoring my dreams and the things to hope in. Yesterday was probably when I was most confused. A bunch of us decided to go to the World Prayer Center to pray and worship. It was an interesting time. I am a little confused about what I think about the World Prayer Center in general. It seems like it epitomizes contemporary Christianity to me, it seemed really showy and weird. To tell you the truth, I really didn't like the place. It was good to get some time to pray and read the word though. I really didn't pray about all the stuff that I was confused about, but I surrendered everything and tried to seek God with everything I had. God led me to read the book of Lamentations. That was really awesome because like what "The Healing Path" was saying, it was reminding me of where I was and where God has taken me. I felt that I really related to Jerusalem in her sin and fall:
"In the days of her affliction and wandering
Jerusalem remembers all the treasures
that were hers in days of old.
When her people fell into enemy hands,
there was no one to help her.
Her enemies looked at her
and laughed at her destruction.
Jerusalem has sinned greatly
and so has become unclean.
All who honored her despise her,
for they have seen her nakedness;
she herself groans
and turns away.
Her filthiness clung to her skirts;
she did not consider her future.
Her fall was astounding;
there was none to comfort her.
"Look, O LORD, on my affliction,
for the enemy has triumphed."
. . .
What can I say for you?
With what can I compare you,
O Daughter of Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you,
that I may comfort you,
O Virgin Daughter of Zion?
Your wound is as deep as the sea.
Who can heal you?"
The author of Lamentations also calls us to hope:
" I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have HOPE:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose HOPE is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD."
There were some other things that happened last night that are a little confusing, but I'm trusting that God has things under control. It was a good time in prayer and reflection, and the time I spent there went by really quickly. Anyway, that's all the somber stuff I guess. I'm still feeling conflicted and unsettled, but I think I'm just supposed to sit in the tension for now :). That reminds me of Jonny. I would appreciate prayer for peace and joy and the ability to hope.