"For as he thinks within himself, so he is" Proverbs 23:7
And here we have come to the last bible study until Spring Semester starts. I am so sad not to meet with my bible babes :) every weds night, truthfully I don't know what I'm going to do with myself! But I'm almost happy for a bit of a break because man alive God's really been workin on me! Learning every week's lesson through real life experiences has been a tad painful. But as our good ol buddy Joanna Weaver says, its a good hurt :)
I walked into this bible study exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, physically. It had been a very rough week already and I had two more days to go. It was do or die week at school and the stress and tension was rolling off everyone in waves that all seemed to hit me. Working at the front desk you hear everything from EVERYONE and I had just gotten to the point where I couldn't take anymore. I was spent. I couldn't listen to another sad story, whine, rant, I just couldn't. And while Twanda hadn't come out, she was lurking at the surface and her cousin (who is yet to be named) was sitting right alongside with her, just waiting for someone to start unloading their problems on me... I just couldn't take it. I literally felt like I had no more to give.
And then we got to Ephesians 6.
Cara gave a great lesson on the amour of God and we had a great group discussion, with some theology about what each stood for, but it was a little bit hard to concentrate on all that because I was hit with a 2 by 4 with verses 19 and 20.
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I declare it fearlessly, as I should."
I can't even tell you what those verses did to me. My mind started flashing back to every encounter I had with a person for the past three days. Honestly, I was ashamed of myself. I sit at my desk with KLOVE playing and verses all over, even where students can read, and I had the most horrible attitude, not just attitude but a HEART, a nasty black, hateful heart to any and everyone that came around me. And why? Because people had an attitude with me? Because someone had a bad day and took it out on me? That's why? That's pathetic is what that is.
And then I started thinking about Paul, the author of Ephesians, he wrote it a Roman prison, to ENCOURAGE people!! The man was in prison and yet he's encouraging people, putting others needs before his own? I'm not in prison, but yet I am acting like a 3 yr old who didn't get their way!
I was brought to my knees. I have been praying that verse everyday and focusing on what my job is. I have always thought that my position is to show Christ to those that come into my office. No matter what. Well ok I forgot the no matter what. It became more like Show Christ to those that come into my office and are nice to me and smile and have a good attitude. Yeah I'm pretty sure I didn't read that in Ephesians anywhere.... Just Sayin...
I am focusing more on showing Christ and his love and it has made a HUGE HUGE difference. Combined with looking for his daily blessings, with Grace in the Small Things, I feel so much better. I feel, not to sound guhsy ushy feel the rhythm of your soul, but I feel centered. Like my focus and my heart is on what it should be.
And if that wasn't enough God decided to give me a little pop quiz to make sure I was listening the week before :)
I have a dear sweet friend named Bryna (who has no idea I'm doing this!!) and I started talking to her after bible study weds. And she shared with me, smiling all the way, about the really horrible week she had had. And for a split second I thought, oh no. I can't do this. I can't hear another sad story and deal with emotions I just can't.
But God hit that thought with a Louisville slugger and I talked to her for over a half an hour while she shared what she had been through lately and how God was working with her and her husband and just these things he was dragging them through. Deep, painful stuff. And I can't tell you how much it blessed me! That's right! It blessed ME!!!
Hearing he talk about her faith and what they were struggling with and how God had worked in their lives and was walking them through this, even though it hurt, and her faith they would get through, it was powerful. I literally pulled out of that parking lot praising God. Even now typing it out and remembering I am a little teary-eyed. And it just made me think of the week before, having a willing spirit. We have to be open and listen to what God is telling us to do. She needed someone to listen and I needed to hear her story. God used it to bless and encourage both of us and I"m just SO GLAD I listened to his voice and got to talk with her. It was incredible!!
So those were my two lessons from this week. I encourage you next time you have a Twanda moment or even really get irritated.. Pop over to Eph 6:19 and read it and see if that doesn't give you a little bit more perspective... It sure did me..