Blogs - Summit Semester
December 06, 2011
The Solid Rock
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Last night, as I read my journal entries from the past three months, this hymn came to mind as the perfect description of the greatest lesson I've learned during my time here. All the sand in my life that I've tried to stand on – people, ideas, academics, and other “securities” – has failed as a steady foundation. Only Jesus Christ can be depended on.
My journal entries seem to be a vicious cycle of crisis, God's peace, crisis, God's peace, etc., until finally, the frequency of crises have dwindled and stand small next to the overwhelming comfort of our radical God. Looking back, some of the entries are pretty funny:
September 15th: I'm gonna die. For the last two days my mind has been utterly and completely overwhelmed by the topics and questions presented by Dr. Bauman. Despite the fact that it makes me want to beat my head against my desk, I love that it forces me to boil things down to the true heart of issues. But, oh, I'm so ignorant! So excessively human!”
But God is so good! Each and every desperate entry is soon followed by a comforting one.
September 23rd: I praise You Lord for Your steadfast love and faithfulness, that even though I'm such a mess and feel so overwhelmed, Your peace surrounds and encloses me, and Your joy remains a candle within me. How wonderful are Your ways that you would comfort me. Teach me wisdom and give me understanding.”
Some of the struggles were inexplicably deep, as evidenced by incomplete thoughts that don't make as much sense now:
October 9th: We watched Life is Beautiful tonight. I had watched it before, but after the gravity of everything we've been discussing lately, it hit me a lot deeper this time. I spent the next two hours taking a walk with God. In all honesty, I was really riled up, even furious. Here I am, Lord. I will fight, what do you want me to kill? Who do you want me to love? What do you want me to learn? What do you want me to suffer for you? I want to heal the brokenhearted and free the captives with You. What is a good life? What good is life? What is a good death? What good is death? What is a good love? What good is love? What am I? I'm overwhelmed, I'm confused, I'm upset, I'm filled with resolve. Lord show me. SHOW ME!”
But His comfort was deep as well:
October 19th: Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10. I hear the Savior say, thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all. Lord now, indeed I find, Thy power, and Thine alone can change the lepers spots and melt the heart of stone. And when before the throne, I stand in You complete, I'll lay my trophies down, all down at Jesus' feet.”
As the semester progressed, the gaps between the struggles and the comforts grew shorter and shorter.
November 11th: It hit me hard yesterday – we only have just over three weeks left. It's enough to set me into panic, until I feel His peace and His whisper of 'this is only just the beginning.
The academic portion of this time is incomparable to any other season of my life. Do I now know everything? Absolutely not. Better than that, I've been taught how to think. I've been given the tools to be my own theologian, philosopher, and historian. I know how to look at information and see what is important and why. I know what questions to ask. I know not to take things at face value.
And the community! Unlike anything I've ever experienced. People are crazy, and we've been able to develop our abilities to love each other with Christ's love (because ours gave out long ago). The close living situation has forced the maturing that we all needed. We've gotten past the personality clashes and now fully thrive in the diversity and fullness that each individual brings to the group. I love these people. We're so different and yet so alike. Beautiful.
November 14th: Last night, I took a mental picture that gives a perfect representation of living in this community. Everybody was in the kitchen, all doing different things. Chris was frying spam in sugar (ew!) for a late snack, several were conversing on the latest philosophical question, a group sang while doing dishes, a group that had found a long piece of string and was learning Jacob's Ladder, and then there was Luke and Steven. Those two were reading through Old Testament passages and making all kinds of observations whilst Steven made his special French bread. His hands were covered in flour that made puffs of cloud as he waved his arms around while making the appropriate comments (in French, of course) about the precise art of his work. They talked about everything from atomic clocks and ghetto ovens to the Kleb cycle. Love it! P.S. Last night I sledded down a hill in a trash sack. I can now die in peace.
But all these academic and social gains are nothing compared to the way God has used this time to prove His steadfast love and faithfulness to me over and over. My foundation in Him is stronger than ever, purged in the fires of intense classroom discussions, overwhelming global problems, difficult people, and internal struggles too numerous to mention. Every time I felt myself despairing, He reminded me that He knows what He's doing, and I don't have to worry. Every time I was almost washed away on the sand, He held out His hand and pulled me up to the Rock. Never for a moment did He leave me. He taught me that He is with me even when I don't feel Him. He's the Rock I can stand on in complete trust.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Brooke comes to Summit Semester with a great love for history. She has a passion to understand and communicate its significance, especially as it relates to modern-day issues. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in history through the College Plus program, and has a special love for Scottish history and culture. Her desire is “to educate the nations, particularly America and Scotland, in their godly heritage and foundation.” An accomplished musician, she leads worship at her church, teaches piano, and also enjoys theatre, voice, and dance.