The man whom God would greatly honor must always believe in God when he is at his wits’ end. “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.” Are you never at your wits’ end? God has not sent you to do business in great waters, for, if He has, you will reel to and fro and be at your wits’ end, in a great storm, before long! Oh, it is easy to trust when you can trust yourself, but when you cannot trust yourself—when you are dead beat, when your spirit sinks below zero in the chill of utter despair—then is the time to trust in God. If that is your case, you have the marks of a man who can lead God’s people and be a comforter of others. (C.H. Spuregon, from his sermon, David’s Prayer in the Cave)
Today, we will be taking our midterm for our first semester of Koine Greek. I’ve taken summer school before but not at this rapid level of intensity. We’re in class three days a week for four hours and outside of class studying between four to five hours each day except Sundays. I’ve learned many different foreign languages before and this is by far is the most difficult language that I have studied.
I also started working at The Interfaith Housing Collation Monday through Friday in the afternoons and evenings as a Kindergarten/1st Grade teacher. Loving fourteen little men and women with tenderness and firmness is a challenge but an amazing experience. I’ve always enjoyed being and working with children, but these energetic children have stretched me in ways I have not felt before. Many of them come from broken homes in a low-income area of Dallas and never experienced a positive godly male role model in their young lives.
It’s also starting to feel a lot more like summer time outside, which I thought going from twenty-five years of born, raised and baked in the Arizona desert to humidity would be an easy transition. Last summer in order to save money (or increase my insanity), I drove without a/c most of the time. My second day in Dallas, I was given a temporary bicycle until I buy my own or get a car by the president of our school and I figured if I drank enough water and wore light colored clothes, the humidty would be bearable. I was wrong. On Friday, biking uphill, downhill during the nineties with thirty to forty percent humidly was disgusting.
I feel ragged, worn-out, and beat up.
Every day that I’ve been here, I am reminded that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. It’s an odd tension, between burnout and joy. Fatigue and fulfillment.
As a Christian, I am claiming that my identity is found through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that my life is to resemble his. One of the biggest lies that has been spoken within the walls of the church is that after one becomes a Christian, their life gets easier. I don’t think that this is true; if anything, my life has become more of a struggle as I fight against doing what I want to do and what God wants me to do. It’s an ongoing battle, but I take great comfort in knowing that in the midst of all this difficulty, God will bring me through it.
It will be filled with pain, heartache, sorrow, and tears, but I look to the One who endured pain and suffering unlike anything that I will feel, in order to accomplish his Father’s plan. Jesus’ obedience gave me eternal life and a brand new life, I was adopted into his family, and I am no longer identified or seen as a sinner, but I am seen as a child of the living God. And as his child, my heavenly father promises to give good and perfect gifts.
Gifts like a teacher who graciously tutors me for an additional hour to hour and a half after class.
Gifts like a job where I have found favor in the eyes of my boss and fourteen little men and women.
Gifts like a condo which is less than a mile from school and three miles from my job, where I am able to save money and have great community with a fellow pastor in training.
Gifts like a God who loves and accepts me but brings challenges and difficulty, not to spite me, but to mold and shape me. To make me less like Marco Paz Galusha-Luna and more like Jesus Christ.
It is the Lord who has begun the good work within us; it is he who has carried it on; and if he does not finish it, it never will be complete. If there be one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which we are to insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our confidence, the Lord who began will perfect. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do.