Today was a wild day.
I’ve had several rough days in a row, though they have been progressively getting better. Today was no exception. I was down this morning, then cheered up while I got ready for Bible Club. That was lovely: the lesson was quite timely (as I’ll explain soon), and the kids listened wonderfully. After Bible Club we walked to the shop of some of the church members and I had some delicious homemade chips (french fries) before we grabbed a bus to head back to town.
After getting a few things at the grocery store and maneuvering our way through the hoards of people, we reached our bus in the terminal to go back to the apartment. Well, here is the thing with public transportation: while boarding at the terminal, the driver and/or conductor (collector of fees) typically will not depart from the terminal until most (usually ALL) of the seats or spaces are filled. Some of them are a bit extreme. Well, I sat down in a spot, holding my two bags of groceries and big shoulder bag, hoping they wouldn’t try to squeeze anyone next to me. No such luck. An older man completely drunk staggered to the bus and the conductor directed him to squeeze in right next to me. He mumbled incessantly, sometime raising his voice when the man behind him shushed him, with many profanities and apparently inappropriate comments. None of this could I really understand thankfully, but I was repulsed by the fact that we were squished together and he kept staring at me. It was quite an experience. I expressed my disappointment to the conductor at his putting such a man next to me, and then letting him go on and on with such impropriety, giving only empty threats. I was a bit shaken, and sort of fell apart when we got back inside the apartment, that experience being only one reason for the tears.
I started chatting with a dear Facebook friend, and before I knew it we were Skyping and had been for the past hour and a half. What a blessing she is to me. She gave me fresh perspective, and encouragement to my heart. Afterward, I took Ferdinand (my guitar) and a chair outside down below our porch. Just me, Ferd, the (cloud covered) starry sky, and God. It was sort of cleansing. Music + nature has that affect. However, my acoustic worship session was interrupted by our new neighbor’s arrival: an American here for a few weeks to work with some different churches! Another American, his friend, should be arriving sometime this week. It was great to meet him and chat with him and the pastor that brought him.
So, you see, my day was really up and down. Lows and highs. Frustration and loneliness, then happiness and friendship. It’s irritating that I, as a frail female 20-year-old human, have such incredible mood swings and mind changes. But, I can trust God in even this. Why, you may ask? Let me tell you.
God is most glorified in us when we realize how utterly weak, useless, and mortal we are: when we realize how much we need Him if we want to be anything, accomplish anything at all. I’ve heard it said that one cannot be found until one realizes that they are lost. We cannot be filled with God until we realize how empty we are without Him. So in my frailness, my impatience, my loneliness and irritation and confusion and fear…
He is ever constant. He never changes, His mood does not swing, His will and words do not alter, His promises never fail.
In my brokenness, I find His healing.
In my uselessness, I find His greatness.
In my confusion, I find His peace.
In my fear, I find His presence.
My lesson in Bible Club today was about how we are made in the image of God: like God, we can think, feel, and decide. The cool part, though, is that God is not made in our image. He does not mess up or have to go back and fix what He ruined. He does not ruin anything. He does not have to apologize. He does not have to defend or argue. He is Sovereign. He is unchanging; unchangeable. And even though that is hard to wrap our puny human minds around, we can still find tremendous peace and comfort in that fact.
Disclaimer: I own no rights to the song “Constant” by Francesca Battistelli, nor do I own any rights to the video in the link above.