Tomorrow is my first day of placement for the semester and to be honest, I’m incredibly nervous but also really excited about the possibilities. Placement means I’m closer to my dream career and also to graduation and I am experiencing an odd mixture of emotions. I’m afraid of failing but in many ways, I think I’m afraid of the challenges my students will present me with.
I feel like I’m being thrown into a whole new arena and in light of recent events and I especially feel unsupported by some whom I previously confided in. I guess I’m at the point in my life where people’s true personas are beginning to surface and the crowd pleaser in me who desires acceptance from all is at odds with this new person I’ve been forced to quickly become. Having to reanalyze your life, your relationships, and your surroundings, shakes you to the core and completely destablizes any foundation upon which you previously stood firmly upon.
Through it all, however, I know that God’s will will be done, as even in my deepest moments of despair and betrayal I have felt comforted and been consoled by some pretty amazing people. A recent email conversation with a friend directed me to this passage and I have chosen to adopt it as my mantra for the next 10 weeks and quite frankly for the duration of this trying season of mystery and uncertainty in my life.
2 Corinthians 4 [The Message]
Trial and Torture [emphasis added]
1-2Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
3-4If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we’ll ever get.
5-6Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
13-15We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!
16-18So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.