I have had several tough weeks here at language school; I am studying harder and harder, and the scores are getting lower and lower. Last week, I was just above passing, and this week I was below passing. I have been so disturbed by all of this that I am not sleeping well, I am crying more than normal (I have learned from myself and others that crying is normal in language study!), I cry out to God to help; please show me what I am doing wrong. Well, this morning, when I woke up at 4am and couldn't go back to sleep, I cried out again; what is the problem? He graciously and tenderly revealed to me what the problem is. So, in humility, I share my findings with you. My problem is pride! Hebrews 12: 1 says that we should lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, so that we can run with endurance the race that is set before us. One of the sins that I have wrestled with most of my life is pride. I arrived in Albertville thinking, I know this will be hard, but I can do this, I'm a smart person. After 7 weeks, I have come to the realization; I can't do this, I am not smart! This has been a hard pill to swallow. As I read "My utmost for his highest" this morning, God showed me that my confidence was in myself and my abilities, not in Him. Today's reading is entitled "Our misgivings about Jesus". It laid out my problem before me. We say we are trusting in the Lord, when really we are trusting in ourselves. We have misgivings about whether or not He can really accomplish what He says he can, and our pride is hurt at the thought that He can do what we can't. The reading for today ends with a prayer, that I confessed before the Lord..."Lord, I have had misgivings about you. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it."
I'm learning that I have other lessons to learn here in Albertville, besides learning to speak French. He has to get me at the end of myself, so that I can lean on His power, not mine. A missionary who is depending on their own power is not going to get very far. He is teaching me harder lessons that how to speak a new language, He is teaching me to totally rely on Him. Ephesians 1:18-21 is Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesians, but also for us. He prays that "the eyes of your understanding would be enlightened, that you would know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of HIS power toward us who believe, according to the working of HIS mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come."
I will continue to study! I know He expects me to do my part. But I hope that I will recognize more and more that it is HIS power in me, and not my own that is going to get me through this program. Please continue to pray for me in this regard. It's not an easy thing to leave our pride and our will at the foot of the cross.