A Whole New World

“A new fantastic point of view…”

It’s a new way of life here. And the funny thing is, I don’t even know fully how new it really is. So far I have only been “confronted” with the newness of practical things.

Not having a car. Walking everywhere. Buying fruit and veg from the markets. Using google translate to figure out what kind of meat or cheese or ANYTHING that I’m buying at the supermarket. Sweating constantly. Dusty roads. Dirty feet. Washing machines in the kitchen. Kitchens smaller than my parents guest bathroom. Different words for thank you, hello, goodbye. No flushing toiletpaper…etc. The list could go on.

But we haven’t even made it into a local’s home yet. I haven’t even had the opportunity to watch them interact, socialize, work, relax.

We’re taking it slow. We talked tonight about giving the first 2-3 years to 80% language learning and 20% ministry with the idea that once we hit year 2 or 3 we could flip flop the numbers and give 20% to language study and 80% to ministry. So, we’re easing our way into things.

We’ve only been here for 5 days today – which is crazy! It feels more like 5 weeks. I can barely even remember what my parents house smells like or feels like and yet we were there just over a week ago?

By the end of the day, I’m exhausted – the combination of walking everywhere, the heat and constantly having your brain wired to translation – it’ll wear a girl out. Not to mention the fact that I have been sick, along with at least one other person in our family, pretty much since we’ve arrived. But, I’m getting better and so is the rest of our family. And feeling physically tired at the end of the day is nice. It feels like it’s how we ought to feel. Like we’ve put the effort in, not wasted our minutes (though I still can and am sure once I get settled will wrestle just as much as I used to, to be deliberate with my time). It feels good. But I am tired and am going to have to learn to keep up with this new way of life.

Isaiah’s favorite story in his bible right now is “the storm”. The one where Jesus falls asleep on the boat and the disciples sail right into a massive storm that is just mutilating them and their boat and they just can’t take it any longer so they wake Jesus up frantically and ask, “Don’t you care?!”  And then, in a moment, in a word, Jesus silences the waves and the winds and the thunder and the lightening and the chaos stops. I guess what’s striking  me mostly about this story, is that the disciples tried for a while to do it on their own and when they couldn’t they grew frustrated and scared and even offended that Jesus was still sleeping. But all the while, all they really needed to do was remember who was on the boat with them. In Isaiah’s bible it says, “The waves and the winds stopped, the recognized His voice for it was the very same voice that created them.” The One in the boat with them was the One that created and stirred up the elements to make that monumental storm – He was laying in the boat with them. And all was revealed when they finally asked Him for help. It was taken care of in a second.

Moral of the story? I’m hoping and praying that I will remember who is in the boat with me. I don’t think I’m in any kind of storm. But I do think I’m in new and unfamiliar territory and it’s terrain that I need help walking. It’s uncomfortable for me, unfamiliar, and at times frightening. I know that if I forget to ask Him for help, I’ll become consumed with not only fear, but offense at His seemingly apathetic response to the chaos that is surrounding me and overcoming me. I’ll confuse His absolute peace for indifference and laziness and maybe even powerlessness. I would much rather know the One who is laying in the boat with me. The One who sleeps deeply and peacefully and is unmoved by the bigness of the storm…because He is so.much.bigger. He knows more about the storm than I do. But the storm certainly exposes not only what is really inside of me and how much I still need to be sanctified but it also exposes how I see Him. I hope that in the midst of this “storm” I learn to calmly, naturally, and certain of who is INSIDE THE BOAT WITH ME, call upon Him for help.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess…Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14, 16

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