As I soak in my last few days in Houston before heading back to India, I’ve found myself worrying. I’m not worried about the next few weeks or even the next couple of months. Instead, I’m worried about what’s just beyond that. December, January, February . . .
Tonight, I sat on my balcony swing, which I’ve been perched upon every day no matter the heat, reading words from John. And there, God answered my worry, but not in the way I’d expect.
In John 6 we see Jesus feeding five thousand people with a child’s armful of barley and two fish. But that’s not the part of the story that eased my woes. It’s the conversation Jesus had with his disciple Philip beforehand that came alive to me tonight.
By this time, Jesus had performed enough miracles that He had crowds following him. Jesus and his friends sat on a mountain and watched a massive throng of people approaching. He turned to Philip and said, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
In essence, Jesus was asking Philip, “What are we going to do?”
But it’s here that God’s Word speaks right to my soul. Because after Jesus asks this, John gives us some insight:
“He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.” (6:6)
And I feel Jesus sitting on the swing beside me, asking, “What are we going to do, Christina? How are we going to get through the next nine months or two years or five decades? What’s going to happen?”
This past month has been only good. I’ve drank in friendships and held new babies. A rogue, Gulf of Mexico wave dunked me and my 6-year-old nephew so quickly that we both ended up with salt water in our noses and laughed so hard we couldn’t get words out. We ate seafood with an old family friend by the beach. I ran (okay, mostly walked) those miles at my favorite park and fought the urge to grasp strangers by the shoulders and shout, “Can you believe we get to live here with all this nature?!” I sipped beer with my neighbors at a brewery as we talked over the sound of a squawking bird (who was on a leash and sat on the shoulder of a heavily tattooed woman, and seriously, it only made me love this country more). Benson and I sat in our kitchen one Saturday with both our laptops open, and between calculating our taxes danced uncool dances in the living room and made odd pointing motions to each other. We then hugged and finished the taxes.
Last week, somewhere in southeast America, I stopped myself from strangling a woman in line in the Chick-fil-A bathroom who was complaining about the size of the space, and I DIDN’T say what I wanted to say: “Oh this is hard? You think this is crowded? Should I pray for your circumstances? Because people are DYING somewhere, lady. People are hot and thirsty and dirty and they’re sleeping on cardboard. They don’t have hope. So shut your privileged, fat throat.” Then, in my fantasy, I shove her hair down the chick-fil-A toilet.
(The sandwich was delicious though.)
Didn’t end where we started, did we?
What I’m saying is, I’m learning and growing. I’m failing. I’m winning. I’m losing again. And throughout it all, Jesus is staring at what’s to come with his arm around me saying, “What are we going to do?” And I stop looking at the crowds, I stop looking at the unknown, and instead I turn and face Him and say, “We’re going to watch and see what YOU do.”
Categories: This and That