Friday, November 14, 2008

Staying the course...

Flowers in my kitchen last summer

I live near a rather large University. Hubby has both a B. S. and an M.S. degree from it, daughter has a B. A., the world's best son-in-law received his M.S. and Ph.D. (and my daughter) all from said University. I started my Bachelor's Degree in Management (planning to specialize in Economics) at that same University. All that to say... I know the difference between undergrad and graduate level classes.

God has had me in the graduate school of trust and faith again lately. That's the area He takes us when we've passed those minor tests, at least the majority of them. You know when you're in grad school when God allows all kinds of trials all at once and then looks at you to see how you are going to act in a hurricane force storm. Been there before...

Case in point... last night the phone rang just after Christopher left for his 4:00 class. He said the steering on the car wasn't working right. He called later after his 8:00 class was over and said not only was the steering not working right but it took trying to start the car a few times to get it to finally start. This is the only working car. (We drove the other car to the transmission place today to get an official estimate.)

This morning we drive in a cold rain to take Christopher to his morning class and waited for him at the campus library. I pulled out the David Wilkerson sermon newsletters I've been keeping in my Bible and underlined some of the scripture he had recommended for these troubling times. I've read and re-read his recent sermons a number of times and I still draw peace from them.

We dropped Christopher off at work, picked up the other car and drove it to the transmission place, and then stopped by my husband's favorite "place that sells stuff for cars". He was inside for only a few minutes, asked me to pop the hood of the old car, and poured in some tranny fluid. Sigh... if only all my challenges could be solved so easily.

It wasn't until I arrived home and marveled at the difference a little fluid can do to a car that I realized I wasn't as tense as I had been. Peace had taken the place of fear and fretting. Except for my power steering working better, nothing had changed so what was it?

I knew... the Oil for my lamp had been at work in my soul. Just as the fluids poured into the power steering had made it easier to steer the car, so the Word which I had absorbed while sitting in the library had made its way from my spirit to my heart and my mind. Where there had been fear, there was now faith. Where doubt had lingered, hope appeared. His very presence brought peace, even though the situation had not changed much.

There's something else that differentiates graduate students from the undergrads... at the graduate level the students are often also teachers. They teach what they have learned in the lessons they have gone through already.

That is where I want to be... sharing what I've learned along the way while staying the course He has set before me. Graduate school is hard work but then again, so is Freshman Engineering. Wherever we are in life, the challenges aren't always fun but they are necessary to become the person HE wants us to be.

Christopher was talking about one of his professors on the way to his class this morning. This guy has been a proverbial pain in the exterior anatomy but never has he had a teacher that has inspired him and taught him as much as this man (although he hated to admit it).

Yeah, I know... no disrespect to He Who Created the Universe but I've felt that way about you Lord. I mean, really, if this is the way you treat your friends I'd hate to be your enemy. But that is where it differs... between being His children and His enemy.

He brings us through the fire to mold us and shape us and like a true Father, desires only our best. Every time we decide to trust instead of fear... we become more like Him. Every time we thank Him for His provision, before we see it... we become more like Him. Whenever we accept His will for our life rather than stomping our feet and demanding our own way... we become more like Him.

Someday we'll be graduating and I hear there is a place at the celebration banquet table for those who persevere. I may be exhausted and out of breath when I arrive but keep my place at the table because I will make it!

I hope you are enjoying the Deepening the Pantry links on the side bar. I'll continue more research after getting some e-mails caught up! :)

11 comments:

Tracey McBride said...

Very beautifully put Brenda. I know that feeling all too well...too many times I've reacted like an under grad...and lamented my lack of faith afterward. Your metaphor about the fluid for the car and oil for your lamp...that's what we all need sometimes...oil for the lamp. This story really resonated with me and I appreciate you sharing it with us.
Blessings and good thoughts to you and your family.
Warmly,
Tracey

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Funny that you put it that way...this relationship with God of the Universe...

Lately, we've started to remind Him that if he tells human fathers not to exasperate their children, surely He could let up some.

Thank you for this neat teaching...wish that you were gathering your wonderful lessons into a devotional. Others have done it and not nearly so well.

Angela said...

"Where there had been fear, there was now faith. Where doubt had lingered, hope appeared. His very presence brought peace, even though the situation had not changed much." His presence does bring such peace, even in the midst of the fiercest storms of life. Thank you so much for filling my cup. As for Deepening Your Pantry, Brenda, I plan on taking a pic soon of my pantry and how I've been stocking up. You have inspired me to be a wise Proverbs 31 Woman. You are such a blessing in my daily walk with the Lord.I always look foward to each and every post you have...
((hugs))

Sue said...

Brenda,
I am SO GLAD I "stumbled" upon your blog. I really believe God led me to it. I love how your posts always have a calming effect on me...

Thanks for your marvelous insights!
-Sue

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Just sending you and your family a big ol' Tennessee hug today.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I so identify with you. Don't you find that when faith falters, that God provides the way out often at the last moment? I know that we are to persevere, but sometimes I just pray for rest. Vicki

moreofhim said...

You truly are at the teacher level. I love to come to your blog and just read. Your blog is a recent find and I'm pouring over your old posts. I, too, am going through some things - health, money, the usual - and I'm finding such comfort in your instruction to go to the Lord. I know I should always remember that, but I don't, and I appreciate your gentle reminders!

Thank you for sharing!

God bless you ~ Julie

zetor said...

Love your blog Brenda. Please visit mine to accept an award.

cheri said...

Thank you for your wise words - filled with hope and trust. Praying that God will provide for your family.

Clif said...

I will be 74 in just a few days and although I have a Master's Degree in Religion that's written on paper the degree I really want will come by grace. Thanks for dropping by yesterday. My Dr. also says it's the amount of food that matters. Growing up in Oklahoma eating "comfort food" it's the carbohydrates that give me fits. I love them so.

Bernideen's TeaTime Blog said...

You have the gift of decernment....very insightful thoughts that show a mature level of being off the milk and into the meat....