"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Monday, August 25, 2008

Slight Chance of Rain

I am afraid I have some unfortunate news to share with you all. You see, I died yesterday in a tragic vacuum cleaner accident. I know, really sucks....

No, just kidding (August Fools!) I am alive and well, but I do have some potentially bad news. There is a slight chance I may not be able to go to Providence College this year. I know, bummer, eh--but far better then being dead, I gotta say.

Let me fill you in on my current state of being, and how I came to this realization:

I had returned from an amazing summer in Arkansas, stretched and challenged, and full of God's grace, a few fun stories, and a heart ready to look at life with new eyes. I also came home with a question...

"Mom, Dad, did my study permit come in the mail yet?"

At the end of last school year, I had to renew my Canadian study permit, being that I am returning as the not so common fifth year senior (permits are only good for four years, I guess). The permit has not yet come in the mail...it should have come 2 months ago. I don't think I will be allowed to start school without a valid study permit.

I have made a couple calls, and in order to check on the status of my permit, my Client ID number is needed. Here is where it gets really messy. When I look at the study permit I received four years ago as a beardless, trembling kneed freshman, someone forgot to fill in the blank that says "Client ID #" which means I have no clue what that number is.

To be honest with you, I have no idea how serious this is, or if this situation can be remedied easily.

This summer, one of the talks we gave was on Mark 4:35-41. In this passage, Jesus is with his disciples in a boat in the middle of a storm. The water is beating down, the wind is ripping at their skin, their clothes are drenched and plastered to their bodies. Waves crash against them as they cling to anything they can, fearful that they will be swamped. And then there is Jesus. Asleep. Utter chaos; complete peace. The disciples are like, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?!?"

Then Jesus blows them away by calming the storm with his own voice.

But the most intriguing part of the story is how Jesus responds to his disciples. "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

Unbelievable--the disciples have this near death experience and Jesus is asking them where their faith is at, why they are afraid. Deadly storm...I'm thinking I would be a bit uneasy as well.

But the question makes more sense when we put it in this context.

God was in the boat.

Jesus created the rain, those waves, that wind. He created the storm. He was with the disciples in the utter chaos, and he was at total peace. God was in the boat, and he is greater then the storm.

This week has been stressful and exhausting, with all the uncertainties that come wrapped in a silly piece of paper and a few numbers that seem to hold my future in their grasp. I have worried as I think of the possibility of not being able to walk the graduation aisle with some of my dearest friends this year, and not having the opportunity to room with one of my best friends. But the truth is that God holds my future in his hands, not a study permit and ID number. I have been telling young people that God is with them in their storms all summer long, and now He has given me this opportunity to remember that He is with me in this boat. God's hands are present in this storm, and it is His voice that will see me out of it. I may not know what the other side looks like yet, but it is far greater then I could ever imagine.

So, this may be nothing. It's possible it could all be settled by tomorrow. Yet there is the ever so slight chance that this could keep me from college. Whatever the case, I am choosing to trust the one who is at peace in all storms, and would appreciate your prayers.

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