It’s unbelievable to me, but it has been months since I last posted on this blog. So many weeks have gone by, and I have had numerous thoughts and ideas of things to write. To say we have been busy seems like such an excuse, but it is true. In addition, I have also been tired. Just. plain. tired. Getting back in the groove of things takes some effort…something I am just starting to find again.
The summer was fantastic. We were able to watch a tremendous amount of baseball games (sixty or so), visit family, spend time with friends, and relish our time of worship at our home church. We refueled and recharged, but, honestly, it is good to be back in Quito. That statement does not, in any way, diminish our love to be with our family and friends, or downplay that we do miss each and every one of you while we are here. But, there is a certain normalcy about returning to Ecuador and picking up where we left off last spring. The fact is, God has called us here to Alliance Academy International for this time, and coming back to Ecuador does provide us with a sense of peace and, dare I say it, “coming home.” I believe there is some sort of confirmation in that – knowing that the restlessness that we perhaps feel in the United States stems from the fact that we are away from the very place that we are to be at this current time.
Last August brought earthquakes and this year our return has been greeted with governmental protests and volcanic eruptions. Meetings at school are focused on multiple areas, including what to pack in your evacuation backpack. We have experienced a “run” on water, helping us understand that we indeed do need to have some level of preparedness.
Even though Cotopaxi is 30 miles away, we could experience issues with water supply and ash cover should it finally fully erupt. It is truly a scary situation for those in its shadow, as the current ash plumes are affecting livestock, plants, and breathing. Additionally, they predict a twenty minute evacuation window should there be a full eruption, which would melt the glaciers and send the lava and water flowing into the nearby towns. We are far enough away to be safe from the immediate impact, but would certainly be affected by the residual results of a limited or contaminated water supply as well as heavy ash fall.
Despite the uncertainty around us, we know with ALL CERTAINTY that we are held in the hands of our Lord and Savior who knows what happened yesterday, today, and what each and every day of the future will hold. Worrying about any moment is futile and changes nothing. So, why not embrace the future with the certainty that comes from knowing Christ? If we place everything in His hands, and trust in His promises, we can claim them with every assurance that our future is certain, safe, and secure.
Writing those claims and promises seem so easy. Interesting how knowing and doing are two different ends of the spectrum. In fact, I would go so far as to say I have struggled more lately with wondering about what each day will bring than I ever have in the past years. I am finding multiple areas of insecurity as I realize how little I can control in my own personal circle. If I let it, these areas can grow and consume me, making me feel like life is spiraling out of control…ironic, as I have no control of any of it anyway. And, once you start this cycle, it gets harder and harder to not have every little decision or discussion be about how the illusion of control is no longer in my grasp. Not a fun place to visit, and certainly an even worse place to live.
I have discovered, much to my shame, that it is simply my pride that gets in the way of me wanting to strive for a fuller life ~ one of less control, and more of Jesus.
I deceptively think I can hold it all together, manipulating my little world into a facade of happiness and perfection, only to find that if it is built on my own tasks and plans, it is only an illusion of foundation and strength, which can tumble and fall in a moment’s notice.
That is no way to live.
When you say you want to give the Lord your life and entrust all you have to Him, you can’t pick and choose the areas that are excluded.
Because, anything short of everything will eventually fall apart.
It is indeed a daily surrender to pride and control and a renewal every morning of submission to the Lord of my life.
Simply put, there is an easy solution to avoiding the angst, and, instead, walking toward a life of peace and hope. I have found that my discontent and fear of the unknown directly correlates to how much time I have spent…or haven’t spent… filling up with God’s Word and spending time in prayer.
It’s that basic, yet I seem to have the tendency to make it complicated.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds
anything we can understand. His peace will guard your
hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-8 NLT (emphasis mine)
See how we have a part in this? We are to pray and thank him…and then we will experience God’s peace…and he’ll take care of what is in our heart and mind. We need to ditch the pride, the facade of control, the illusion that we actually have some say in what the future can hold. We’re not innocent bystanders – no, we play an active role in decisions and paths we travel. But, we can do it thinking that simply by making good choices and plans our life will be worry-free, or we can live with Christ at the helm, ask him to guide our decisions, and then we can know with all certainty that the peace He promises is ours now, tomorrow, and forever.
If you struggle like I do in relinquishing control, thinking you can make any difference in what actually happens in the future, or worrying about what happens tomorrow or beyond, won’t you recommit today with me to spending time in prayer and focusing on Christ Jesus? Won’t you join me in claiming the promise of His peace to those that pray to Him and thank Him for what He has done for us?
It’s basic. Move over pride…God is in control.
Working on humbling myself each day,