06 May 2009

Pressed but not crushed, persecuted but not abandoned

Isn't it funny how things that happen in the spiritual realm reflect in the natural? I am hating life right now. Yesterday was miserable, fighting sneezes and puffy, watery eyes, congestion, the works. In addition, my mind was thinking, "Do I have the swine flu? Do I need to see a doctor here? What if my roommates get it from me and end up hating me for it?" When I finally got sick of thinking those stupid things, I started worrying about the things I need to get done. "I have to finish Cervantes, I need to do my senior project, work on the phonetics project, figure out when I'm going to the UK, when I'm going here, there, blah blah blah..." After a day of meh, sneeze, sniffle, almost almost sneeze, homework, nap, more blah, I just sat and prayed and rested. It was wonderful. My sickness started to lift and I went to bed shortly after. I decided to skip class today to make sure this cold was really kicked. I woke up this morning and felt much better. Yes, thank you, Lord. A day at home to do nothing, talk to no one, finish up a little bit of homework, and just relax. When my roommates got home, things started to get chaotic. Someone had a horrible headache, someone else was crabby and taking it out on everyone, someone was self-centered, someone wouldn't stop talking. The root of my problems are not my roommates at all. But when other peoples' attitudes and issues are all they think and talk about, it affects everyone around them. That's precisely what happened. Door slams, nagging, whining, complaining. Even the little things start getting annoying. "Why would she stick that notebook there? Doesn't she know that's where I always stick my feet when I sit on the sofa? Ugh!" 
I was already stressed out enough because my new ATM card hasn't come in the mail yet. I know I cannot rely on money. I've learned this good lesson several times already after being without cash for a few weeks and even daring to venture to Paris with about 12 euro cash. I already owe my roommates money, I need to put money on my bus card, I need to put money on my pre-paid cell phone, I need to book flights and hostels. I tried calling my bank in the U.S. today and my roommates came marching in the room yelling and complaining about something. After yelling into the microphone (call was via Skype) so the bank lady could hear me over all the noise, "WHAT? WHAT?? NO, I'M IN SPAIN!!" I learned that, no, they cannot reactivate my old card so I'll just have to wait for my new one to come, which probably fell out of the plane into the Atlantic Ocean somewhere. Great. I have enough money to make it to campus tomorrow for my exam but not back home. All of these things seem silly. I could simply overcome them with a laugh and some gusto to be joyful, but I am human. I can't do this on my own; I cannot possibly survive on self-sufficiency. I am tired.
Why isn't life perfect? Why did all of this go down the day after I experienced so much freedom and joy in those moments of prayer? Shouldn't it all be fixed now? The answer to my problems won't come in package in the mail. We are living in some extreme days. Relying on ourselves, our finances, our business, our stuff is only going to lead to destruction and disappointment because things, money, everything will come crashing down. No one whose hope is in the Lord will ever be put to shame (Psalm 25:3). Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Tomorrow is a new day, and God's mercies are new every morning.

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