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Friday, January 15, 2010

isaiah 43

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland."
Verses 18-19


At the beginning of my Freshman year at James Madison University, I remember feeling so lonely and confused. While I don't recall if classes had actually begun, I had already been exposed to the college life: it was scary. The drinking, the sex, the smoking, it was all around me.

I grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Of course you've never heard of it, but put plainly, it's synonymous with "Pleasantville." You know, moms with freshly baked cookies waiting for you after school, pops reading the newspaper while smoking a pipe? That kind of small town.

What on earth was I doing at the number one party school in the state?

I remember so vividly sitting on my bright turquoise comforter in my dorm room in Fredrickson Hall. I was dejected. All of these people around me, and not one follower of the Lord, it seemed. I just remember feeling like I was never going to fit in or find any friends. I missed my family greatly.

I flipped open to this passage. It was one of the first times I had ever turned to the Word for solace. It comforted me in extraordinary ways. For some reason, I couldn't explain, I thought that particular scripture was reaching out to me in an indeniable way.

I looked at this desolate campus and said, "Wow, God's going to do incredible things on this campus - and I'm going to have a part in that!"

Not that JMU is a bad place, it's just a dark place. And while, yes, the Christian community has grown so strong here these last few years, there are still a lot of people who fail to aknowlege Him.

God likes restoring. All of my years here, I have been working, praying, singing, worshiping, in order to bring glory to the most high. In order that He may bring streams into the wasteland of JMU.

I want that so badly. My soul cries out for it.

But, last night at Intervarsity, I realized something: There is already a knot of strong followers of the Lord on this campus. God has already made a stream in the desert of JMU. I've been refreshed by it these last few years. Our worship leader read this passage out loud, and I was immediately brought back to my Freshman year, in my dorm, seeking understanding. Seeking something.

I thought, "Lord, my time here is almost up, where are you on this campus? I thought we'd all be crying out to you."

I was in a room full of 300+ people worshiping the Lord on our campus.

It was then that I realized the desert, the desolate place I read about three and a half years ago was me. I was the desert. My own life was the wasteland.

He has made a way in my soul.
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