This has been a week in my life that I knew one day would come. The things that happened this week have happened many times before - in many different degrees and to many different people. I also realize that everything that has happened this week will possibly happen again with more intensity. This week, I have prayed a lot, cried a lot, and prayed some more. Mostly for the people who have recently left my life and the hurt that they have experienced. Hurt people hurt people.
This week, I have prayed and pondered. Maybe I should write them a note? Maybe I should visit them? Text? E-mail? I don't know. Maybe it would help, but maybe it wouldn't. Maybe I should just keep praying and ponder. . .these things in my heart.
This morning, I finished reading the book about Amy Carmichael that I will start reading to our Junior Church kiddos tomorrow. I started reading it to get my bearings in the book. Even though it's written on a children's level, I couldn't help but finish it for all of the encouragement it brought me. Amy had so much faith. I have read her story many times in the past, but have always been renewed and encouraged by it. She had so many instances of desperation - and every time, God came through for her. My God is the same One, and He will come through for me as well. Romans 8:28
After I finished reading Amy's book, I read my Bible. The reading that I had for today was to finish reading Ecclesiastes. I sighed in relief at the familiarity of it. A requirement from an editing class that I took in college was that we memorize the last part of Ecclesiastes 12. Even though I can no longer recite it word for word (I try to remember, but I only ever get to extreme familiarization. I blame dyslexia. :) ), it felt like an old friend. That's what the Bible is supposed to be, isn't it? Anyway, I read the beginning and understood it in a way that I never have before. Remember thy Creator. . .in the days of thy youth. According to the next few verses, it seems to me that God is also telling us to remember during the good times. . .because the bad times are coming. Another thing I read differently is the part about much study being a weariness of the flesh. This week, I have worn myself out studying the situation. I recognized that.
Then I read the next verse: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." No matter what happens in life - in everything, my duty is to fear God and keep His commandments. I am to respect that God is God. He knows what He is doing. He allows everything that happens to happen. He is control. I am also to keep His commandments. I am to love God and love my neighbor. I love those who have hurt me, as well as those who have not. I am to love those who are still in my life, as well as those who have left.
Then the last verse: "For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." God will judge the actions of others. I don't have to. God will judge me for my reactions to the actions of others. I want for Him to be happy with my reactions. I know that I am a sinning human and will not always do what is right, but with God's help, I will do what He said. I choose to obey. I choose to love.
P.S. I realize that I have a pattern going on with the first word of every paragraph! This, This, After, Then, Then. :)