My weekend was filled with lots of fun. I went to a circuits class with a bunch of friends from church Friday. Did alright. Learned what a burpee is. Don’t think I like burpees. They hurt my ankles as you jump down onto the ground and I am slightly precious about my ankles. I have sprained one twice playing rugby and ultimate frisbee in the past: enough to end up in the hospital after the rugby injury (they thought it was broken for a few days) and need to be carried off the pitch by the frisbee one. But it was good craic doing the class with the pals. The weekend continued to find me salsa dancing til the wee hours both friday night and Saturday night AFTER I went to a church ball for the 20s and 30s peoples… and danced there too.
A night of socializing with my people Friday at the salsa club and having cake and chill time with the girlies Saturday afternoon and different girlies for Sunday morning…and tea and toast with more friends after church Sunday eve… all in all meant it was an amazing weekend filled with lots of good people. I probably need to carve out some alone time soon but have just been loving my people.
Do you have that? A “my people.” I feel a bit like this with this city. I see this city as “my people.” I find that a bit with the country in general. But I feel a deep kinship, love, appreciation for and pray for the people that texturize my life in this place. When I first moved here I had this huge fear I would have no friends and that I’d end up lonely and no one would want to be my friend. A friend of mine unsympathetically laughed IN my face and said that was ridiculous and that I have never had a problem finding friends. But hey.. moving country brings real fears. I feel so grateful though that not only are there just a lot of amazing friends in my life but that I feel a sense of “these are my people.” A kinda “we belong to each other and you want to look out for one another.” What’s great is it is not exclusive and it is not cliquey. It spans my work friends, church friends, salsa friends, friends I’ve met through friends, friends who are students, friends who are not students. All around.. just a deep sense of love and kinship toward “my people.” Love this place and am grateful for those that the Lord has placed in my life. Some in only an acquaintance fashion and others in a much deeper bond of meaningful honest raw friendship. Either way I feel appreciative of both.
So after circuits and salsa and ball and salsa…. Saturday morning I was crawling out of bed because my abs were so sore.. by Sunday it hurt to cough or laugh or anything that involved stomach muscles .. might alone all the rest of the muscle groups. The stomach muscles definitely were the worst.
It’s really good for you. But a good work out just leaves you like that.. in a good sort of pain. I have come to crave that feeling a bit even though I whinge about it.
It was kinda like that with the sermon at church tonight. Jonathan preached out of 1 Samuel and what I quickly realized was that the next pain in the gut wasn’t because I was an idiot and decided popping and locking and spins and rumba was a good thing to do at 2am and my muscles were paying for it the next day. No it was the kind when the Lord presses his finger on you as you read the Bible or the Word is being preached and you go.. “gulp… oh junk that is for me… it is exactly what I need to hear.” The Spirit of the Lord is a bit like that. He knows just when to press and expose your need to hear, or to show you your blindness, to press on a sin issue, and say… here is what I am going to do some surgery on next: This is what you’re really like and this is what I want to change..” The Lord is like that. The context was the Israelites were demanding a king to rule them and protect them from neighbouring nations because they had rejected God as king. God tells Samuel that and says.. “okay.. give them a king.. it is Me they are rejecting.” And we had gotten to the point in the chapter where God exposed this and they KNEW they were rejecting God in their demands… and I ended up writing this:
“The Israelites cry for a king – a demand that God has to save them in a specific way rather than trust in God.” (blow one to my already sore stomach muscles) conviction sets in as Jonathan continues to preach and teach on the chapter and I write:
I HAVE ISRAELITE UNBELIEF
>that God can’t provide in this
> that God has no provision for me in this. They as a people were faithless but my own life is exposed as faithless. My prayers faithless. My lack of prayers faithless. I don’t believe that God can or will provide for me so often. He can’t do it or He won’t do it. He has to provide and answer my prayers my way or I am smitten with the sins of bitterness or unbelief.
So in big bold letters I wrote as the sermon continued and God’s Spirit was using the Bible and the preaching to prod at me…
God IS faithful and He IS in control.
The sermon ended with talk about how we know these things – – those things the Spirit was convicting me on and the things that came out later in the sermon and it was about God being a Covenant God. A God who is faithful to keep is promises with His people.
And I walked out of church tonight thinking.. I am exactly like the people who lived thousands of years ago. Help my unbelief Lord. That I would not demand from You to obey me because You are God and I am not. Help me to trust that You are a caring loving covenant God who has shown yourself to be amazingly trustworthy.
Just at the beginning of church we had read out of Hebrews and it struck me so much I had written this down BEFORE the sermon. I know this stuff. I teach this stuff. I breathe this stuff. I know and live and experience the reality of this stuff and I need to repent and allow the Lord to continue to change my heart and find my hope in the gospel and not something else.
“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.”
(Hebrews 7:26-27 ESV)
My people. My soreness and the punches in the gut I get because of my bad attitude. Grace surrounded my weekend.