My roomie and I were chatting about it and I think that this–this living and functioning and trying to be purposeful in a very hard place to live, takes more out of us than we think. The stress is minute mostly so when you start to feel it it comes from surprising places. I won’t go into all of the stressors in a day, just suffice to say that there are a lot, a lot of them. Just like anyone anywhere. So why last week when a car honked at me to move out of the way as I was waiting for a bus, why did that particular incident make me want to well up in tears? And not…I dunno the zillion other things in a day? Like the power going out when I’m in the middle of something or the khumsari being rude to me on the bus or finding my way back home at night in the dark or spilling paint all over myself and the boys not listening to the lesson or feeling stupid in language class? Or when our house was on fire??
Don’t worry, I’m not cracking at the seams or anything. It’s a part of culture shock I was anticipating. I dunno. Life here is hard and I know that. People around do a lot to make it better. I’m missing home. Not in an “I’m ready to go home!” way. More like an I-could-use-a-vacation-there sort of way. We’ve all had moments where life just feels like too much. And we all know that this too shall pass.
“When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears: ‘Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written). I know you will wet my face several times today, but I have work to do and you will just have to go with me. I intend to take the bag of seeds and sow. If you come along then you will just have to wet the rows.” John Piper
But God is good. He’s big and great and walks beside me all the day long. He loves me and laughs with me and constantly reminds me of his sovereignty and graciousness. He is always enough. And when I meditate on these things that makes me want to cry, too.
“How I love calling your name
Sweet, sweet Jesus
Lily of the valley
Everyday, your name is the same”
-From a song we sing at church
“Do you see what this means–all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it! Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins, keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God. He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”