I thought that since I was content in college, that since I was growing in my relationship with God, that was where I was meant to be. I had it all planned. Weekends, summer, and everything in between. It was all playing like a perfect little movie in my mind.
So when I realized I wouldn't be finishing my first year of college with the people that have become my family in the place that had become my home, I had to stop and think: why.
Why was I disappointed? Why was I worried? Why can't things be the way I had planned? Why am I going back to living the same life I lived last year?
And then I heard it:
"It was never about getting you to the place you thought you deserved to
be; it was about getting you to the place where you trusted in me fully."
WOW. It was never about me being where I felt strong. It was about me being where I knew He was. It's not about the movies I created in my own strength; it's about the real life that is created in His.
I just read about the Cities of Refuge that God called the Levites to build in Numbers 35. They were to be places for accused murderers to run to when the death they committed was accidental. Here they could seek refuge and get a fair trial.
I started thinking that perhaps in the midst of social distancing and a worldwide pandemic, God is placing me in some kind of modern day City of Refuge--a grace that the movies in my mind couldn't comprehend, and, quite frankly, one that my mind now still is still trying to grasp.
Here in this City, amidst the battle with loneliness and contentment, I am freed from the chains of excuses. Here, I have to sit. I have to listen and think and wonder and pray. Here, I have to feel my emotions and categorize them. Here I have to take every thought captive.
This isn't what my semester was supposed to look like. Heck, this isn't what anyone's life was supposed to look like. But here we are. Here we are with the choice to worry and panic, or sit and respond.
Yes, the virus is a big deal. Yes, it's important to take the precautions given by government officials. But this is something so much greater.
At its simplest form, this is a nationwide rest during the most hurried and rushed time there has ever been. Is that not ironic? Is that not purposeful?
This is time to sit and read books and put together puzzles and accept that this isn't what anyone wants. It's a time to pause the little movies, and throw away the little DVD player in our minds. It's a time to accept that there's only One who should have the power to play the future. Hint, it's not us.
This isn't the second semester of high school or college that anyone wanted. But it's the one we're given. It's the one where we are finally free to escape whatever held us back from running into the strong embrace of Jesus.
It's where we can find the rest and refuge right here that the Levites found in the six Cities of Refuge that God intentionally commanded to be built.
So no, this isn't ideal. This isn't comfortable. It's not our own little mind movie. But then again why did we think it ever would be?