life is full of seasons. each season is unique & special in its own way. each season has new opportunities, new friends, & new lessons. a season of my life is slowly coming to an end. friends are moving. classes are ending. room 206 is about to be vacant.
at the beginning of this semester, I studied Acts 16. paul casts out a demon in a girl who was bringing in a profit for her “owners.” the town gets mad, captures paul, beats him, & throws him in prison. paul is physically & emotionally hurt. but instead of dwelling in self pity, he worships. he sings praises in the prison where all the other prisoners can here him give glory to God even amidst the pain. then God rocks the world with an earthquake. the jailer thinks the prisoners have all escaped & moves to end his life when paul cries out that they are all still there. the result? the jailer & his whole household are saved. paul had to go through immense pain & suffering so that one family could have life. in my journal I wrote next to this story, am I willing to be put through pain- emotionally and/or physically- so that someone is saved or grows in Christ?
we have reached the end of the semester. the season is changing. & I am stepping away from a closing door realizing that I am stepping out of a trial that tested me, matured me, & sanctified me a little bit more. isn’t it interesting how we don’t know we are being refined till the process is over? till we have been changed?
at first, I wanted to get mad at God. why did I have to go through all those ups & downs to see my own sin? why did my lesson have to involve other people? why can’t things end how I want them to end? but one of the lessons I have learned is that my goal is not God’s goal. my goal is the finished, completed product. but God’s goal is my sanctification. to make me holy.
& so much good has come from this difficult semester! I have been able to relate to & encourage a friend. I have been challenged to know what I believe. I have been humbled. habitual sins have been dug up, areas of my life that I had waved aside as “personality.” & best of all, I have watched a friend grow closer to the Lord. so I praise God even in the “prison,” amidst pain & suffering!
the more I look at this semester, & life as a whole, the more I realize the point: holiness. to be like Christ. refining by fire till we are perfect. sanctification. & if I am truly praying: Lord, align my heart’s desires with Yours, then I can only be joyful about this trial He has put me through!
so one more season closes. I have learned not to resist the change. change is good. it is beautiful. but it is hard.
but with the close of one season comes the opening of another, one with beauty & lessons of its own. one involving another country & people I am already falling in love with.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”