Hello, Hello you beautiful and wonderful people! I hope you all are doing well! So, as I know for many of you, school is just now beginning to start up, and summer is very quickly coming to a close. If youíre like me, you must not be looking forward to actual school work, but very excited to see all your close friends again. (Wouldnít life be so nicer if all of your closest friends lived in the same town, and you could hang out with them all of the time? A CONCEPT.) Anyways, as my summer has quickly end, I have realized a lot of lessons that God has taught me this past summer, as well as shown me examples with characters and stories in the book of Acts that I really want to share with yíall now.
For me, this past summer, this past school year, and these past two years really have been a growing season for me. There were times where I felt like I was being buried alive under stress and hard situations that just seemed to overwhelm me. It seemed like at least somehow or another I was always uncomfortable spiritually. It felt like I always had something either teaching me, making me trust Him more, or promises so deep or so wide or so far off, it was hard for me to wrap my head around them. The best way I can describe me spiritually this past summer was it was like I was caught in a storm in the middle of the ocean with nothing to do but to hold onto the God above me, trust what He is saying and that what is written in the Bible is true.
I know Iím not the only one who feels this way, and we are not the only ones who have experienced this type of storm and season. Yíall know Paul? The greatest missionaryÖ the one who wrote a ton of letters in the New TestamentÖ also known as Saul, Paul? He went through this tooÖ quite literally. In Acts 27:13-44, it discusses how on his way to Rome, the ship that Paul was on got caught up in a storm due to the fact that they didnít listen to Paulís warning. During this time of the year, this was the season of hurricanes, and sailing was very risky to do, even if it was a short distance away. And because they didnít heed Paulís warning, they got caught up in a hurricane in the middle of the ocean. And Paul? Well, he was the one who had to hold on to God and His promises even tighter now than he was earlier.
If you go back into Acts 21 and read it all the way to the end of the book- in chapter 28, you will see the story of Godís promises to Paul and how He fulfills them in the best timing as well as the best ways possible. Paul had this great desire to preach in Rome. Paul grew up as a Roman citizen as well as a Jew, so he had a very vast education, and he longed to preach to those people there. While he was sitting in jail in Jerusalem, ďthe Lord stood near to Paul and said, ‘Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify about me in Rome'” (Acts 23:11). And what I have come to love now (but hated in the moment) was how applicable his journey was to this season of my life. Paul sat in jail for two more years in Jerusalem before he even went on trial for a crime he didnít commit (talk about patience in an unfair situation, right?). And even when he finally went on trial, he was scoffed, mocked, and belittled for his faith.
Now I donít know about you, but I can definitely relate to the fact that it seems like there are times where finally things are starting to go in the right direction- things are finally starting to get brighter- only for another disaster to come swooping in, but what is evident in my life and what is evident in this story about Paul is the fact that God is always in control. His plans are always higher, better, and far more complex than the mere scribbles of the plans I come up with. Paul had to wait. Paul Iím sure had things he had to learn within those two years to help him when he finally got to Rome and was finally able to preach (SPOILER ALERT: he gets there safe and sound and Godís promises are fulfilled to him). And reading this, seeing this, reanalyzing this past summer, I have been in those shoes too, but trust me: itís always worth it.
There were things I had to learn like how to deepen my faith and allow my roots of what I believe in to grow. I had to learn to fully trust in God no matter how bleak the situation seemed, I had to allow my faith to truly be focused on Him and not what I saw before me. I had to trust the my God is who He says he is, even when it felt like my boat of faith that I was in was one wave away from being overturned and lost forever. But you see, Heís always there. Heís always with you, and He always will be there to help you when you struggle. And man let me tell ya, when that season is finally over, and you see the blessings that have occurred, the fruit that is reaped because of all the blood, sweat, tears, faith, trust, and hope that you have put in… man, itís worth it. So so so worth it. You will see why you had to learn things you didnít even realize that you needed to learn, and you will see that He is always there, and His word is always true, even if you donít feel it at times. And that my friends, is amazing.
I love you all so so much, and I am so truly grateful that yíall took the time out of yíallís day to read this. I hope you all have a fantastic week, and God bless ya!