Summer has finally come to its end. With it, a lot of lessons, insights, and encouragement adds to the list of things that will help me become a better man, a better friend, a better son, but above all a better servant. I am amazed at how ten weeks were taken away just like the air blows upon the water at the bay where I am writing this.
It has been raining for almost the entire day. Been the melancholic guy that I am, I can’t do but to sit down and ponder on some of the lessons I’ve learned. God brought me to this fantastic place just when I needed to be loved, cared for, and encouraged to keep pursuing his presence. Ministry never looked as compelling as it looks today. I know that working with people is a difficult task. I am aware that deciding to follow him requires sacrifice. I was afraid of leaving behind many things. As I am sitting here at this dock observing the bay in front of me, colored in an extravagant and appealing palette of different tonalities of gray I can’t do but think that life and ministry sometimes will look like this: gray. But the bay is not always colored in gray. Yesterday it was blooming with a beautiful palette of compelling colors. Life and ministry also have days in full technicolor.
I do not know what the future holds, what life has in store for me, how the ministry will look like, how a family will be if I ever get to form one, but I do know the creator of everything, the owner of time, the artist who is painting my life. He calls me his. Sitting here at this dock not knowing what tomorrow will bring I am being reassured of one thing, my life is His, he holds my future, and that place is safe but above all…. secure.
This morning in my personal time with God, the Holy Spirit dropped the following verse in my Spirit: “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Ps. 119:16 As the day’s coming to its end, those words are taking root, and somehow they are releasing a sense of commitment. The word the Psalmist use here for delight is hitpalpel. It means to enjoy oneself, to take a high degree of pleasure or mental satisfaction in. This Hebrew word appears only 6 times in the OT, 3 out of those 6 actually means to take delight in. The obvious question that came to my mind was “do I take delight in Scripture? Like in a legit way?” If I am actually taking delight in God’s Word then, “How am I responding to what the Holy Spirit prompts me through Scripture?” I can not be a humble servant if I am not responding and yielding to God’s Word.
Yet, as I am sitting here looking at God’s creation, contemplating the vast expansion of water in front of my eyes, I can’t do but close my eyes and raise a prayer to the one who, in his grace and mercy, called me to serve him. He does not need me to do his work, he is all powerful and can actually do everything. He gives me the opportunity to join in whatever he is doing because I am the one who needs him, serving and carrying the call just means surrender, dependence, and a lot of time with him alone. It is not about me. Lord let me never ever fall into the trap of believing that it is about me, my goals, or my ambition…. It will always be about you invading my life with power, grace, mercy, and surrender.
The wind is blowing now. I am joined by incredible people the Lord brought into my life as a reminder of how important my life is for Him. I’ve walked and served with these people for ten weeks now. They’ve done nothing but pouring out love, compassion, grace, and fellowship. They are by no ways my “summer co-fellow interns” they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, my friends…. My family.
The psalmist uses the word yiqtol which means to forget, to be lost in oblivion. What a powerful word that is. I’m alone now. People are gone. There is silence. It is forcing me to close my eyes and stop what I am doing and soak in the unknown. As I am here looking straight into the sunset that is taking place before my eyes, I am really aware of what is going on around me.
It is easy to be surprised and be blown away by nature. There’s something special about the outdoors that captures our attention. The Bible tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God. Eternity has been placed inside of us. So when hidden eternity meets the manifest glory of God we are able to, for a split of a second, see God in all splendor. If nature can take our breath away how much mores does the Bible should?
I do not want to be in a state where I find myself unaware or unconscious of what the Holy Spirit is whispering straight into my spirit as I open my Bible and read about the author of life. I want to be surprised and excited and be filled with awe as I read about the one who loved me first, the one who holds my life, the one who restored my life, the one who placed eternity inside of me, the one who gave up his only begotten son just for my sake.
It is so easy to go to the Bible and treat it as just another textbook. It is not. It is the Word of God. It contains truth, and it speaks life today. It illuminates my path. How can I be oblivious to it? How in the world I allow myself to neglect Scripture with my actions? How can I open it and no be dragged to the God it presents?
The day is actually coming to its end. And all I know for sure is that Jesus is my reward. As the sun is setting down, I lay dawn my own desires and dreams so that I am free to pursue his dreams. I pray that one day I may be able to say, “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” The truth is that I am not yet there. But I am running the race, I’m pressing on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.