At this times nearly two months ago I had finished finals and felt I was adrift at sea, waiting for the wind to blow and give me direction for my summer. The Lord laid the story of the persistent widow on my heart [Luke 18] and that’s how I found myself praying. This faithful, audacious woman demanded justice from a godless, egocentric judge, and it was granted to her; not because she deserved it, but because the judge knew she would keep asking him until he finally gave her what she wanted. Jesus tells his disciples, “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.”
Not long after I began to pray seemingly audacious, childlike prayers, the Lord provided an internship, several jobs, and a place to live–in Washington, D.C. The Lord is so kind to close doors for me–however painful they may be at the time–in order to clear the way for the one He wants me to walk through. Paul Miller in his book, The Praying Life, says:
God is for you in the details of your life. He wants you to thrive. He is, after all, a God of hope. The infinite God touches us personally. Paul alludes to this when he says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than we all can ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). We dream big because God is big. Our prayers don’t float above life–praying is inseparable from working, planning, and good old-fashioned begging.
So I moved to D.C.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love it here and all the countless adventures I’ve been on. The Lord has provided so many dear, new friends, as well as the comfort and joy of familiar ones, like Lynney and Madisson.
This post doesn’t have much of a point to it–I’m not really here to tell you about my life in D.C. or make a profound statement, but I wanted to share a few things the Lord has been teaching me through my time up here.
Holiness demonstrates that we live for better hopes and better desires because we live for a better Savior.
This is the essence of the sermon I heard last week at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. It resonated deeply with me because I’m in that point of life where I’m looking to the future with much uncertainty, apprehension, and (surprise, surprise) fear. I guess most Seniors feel this way, but I’m really at a crossroads where I don’t even know what I want to do, really. So I feel like my identity is lost because I define my life by my accomplishments and my plans.
Our lives are a reflection of our hopes.
Am I placing my hopes finally here? My hope in this life is not in the job I get or don’t get, how I measure up or fail in comparison to others, my beauty or lack thereof, my plans to change the world, my state of singleness or desire for marriage, my GPA, my talents, my wit, or any other such transient thing. My hope is Christ. My life is Christ. My identity is Christ.
God knew all about me–yet he purposed to save me. There is such hope and beauty in that. Lord knows my life has been relatively easy–my greatest obstacles and hardships have been emotional battles over surrendering to the Lord my desires–but oh how I hope and long that my cry throughout my life, regardless of what happens, will be, “Jesus! Give me more of Jesus!” My heart aches to be full of Him. My heart longs to be in His presence. My soul yearns for heaven where I will be with him finally.
Paul Miller says, “Christians have just one story–the gospel story–repeated over and over in our lives.” I think of the brokenness of this world and all the hurt and pain I see brothers and sisters go through and my heart just aches. But for the Christian, every unhappy story that is unfinished in this life will one day have a happy ending because the Lord redeems all things.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. [Romans 8:19-24]
So I’ll keep praying like that persistent widow for the Lord to give me guidance. I’ll keep showing up for life, even on the days it seems pointless, because nothing is wasted in God’s economy. And I’ll keep drawing my hopes out of this world and place them on Jesus who will never fail me, leave me, forsake me, or stop loving me.