Wow, it’s taken over a week to write again. So much has happened, yet so some things remain the same. Jay came to know God the other day, which is tremendous. We all love Jay very much. I have spent three days with Michael – twice playing football and last Sunday at church and lunch and Middle Street (Zhong Jie). Make it four – I saw him Thursday night and we talked/walked for 2 hours. He is becoming a dear friend to me. So is Collin. On Thursday night, I felt burdened to pray for these two men’s lives and still the words were difficult. The 36 hours since, it has been even more challenging – stray thoughts, callous heart, and something else I’m still trying to understand. This trip is revealing to me the most awful, hateful, mean spirited parts of my life. My insensitivity to other people, my complete impatience with people who I feel are not as smart as I am, especially with people who ‘feel’ too much and how fickle and cross I become at the slightest change in circumstances, my hyper competitiveness.
All this has been too much to handle. I can’t handle… still, I’m glad and do hope that the friction that increases and God turns up the heat on my life. The pain of a season of refinement is measurably valuable for a life of dedicated service. Day by day, I see how far I must go, how much I long for the Lord to refine my heart so I might be a vessel clean for His using to bless people. So many times I feel slighted, like God does not care about me because He won’t discipline me. I wonder if that thought is sin. I wonder if the amount of time my mind returns to Laura Nutter is aggravating to You, oh my God. Does my persistence bother You? Does it show my faithlessness? Or do you intend for me to grope, to fight, to cry out repeatedly for rebuke and correction. Lord, I I know there are impure ways in me, and they are continually hindering me. Oh, please stay. My enemies are enclosing me, who seek to invade my territory. Reshape me, all of me, to be the warrior You desire. I know it won’t be perfect yet, but please each arrow of my enemy is more than I can bear. I love You and seek to please You with all of me. To You may the glory and honor be forever and ever. Amen