Our helpers seem enthusiastic about the upcoming course and their role in it. They had all kinds of suggestions and ideas last night about how we can make the course run smoothly and give people every opportunity possible to encounter God during these next 10 weeks. Tim and I were encouraged by hearing these friends talk about their desire to impact others and grow the kingdom of God. Thank you, Lord.
This morning I had another little bit of sunshine during my devotions. I did the last day of Beth Moore's Beloved Disciple Bible study (the apostle John), read a chapter in Running Scared (about fear and worry), and read from Isaiah (in Spanish) as part of my one year daily Bible reading plan. I'm grateful for that hour every morning, for an hour to bathe in truth and prepare myself for a day of battle. In some of this current discouragement, I often forget to look to the Bible for the truth about what's going on in my life (as opposed to the stories my self-pity tells me). Regular devotions give me a chance to encounter truth even when I'm not necessarily looking for it. One of those "truths" I encountered this morning was Psalm 27, personalized for my own "enemy":
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When loneliness advances against me
to devour my flesh,
when loneliness attacks me,
it will stumble and fall.
Though loneliness besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though loneliness break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of loneliness
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above loneliness who surrounds me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.
Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of loneliness.
Do not turn me over to loneliness,
for loneliness rises up against me,
breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.