I want to write a bit from the heart, and just about what has been going on with me over these last many weeks – if you are friends with me on Facebook you already know. I was recently hired to work for the Railroad as a Conductor, and I have been in an intensive training process (in class) for the last couple of weeks; and I will continue to be in this process between the classroom and out in the field to one degree or another for the next five months (the next two months are most critical since I have to pass a series of nine written exams on various things pertaining to the railroad with an 85 percent score or better, or I don’t get the job, and I already gave up my other job for this one, so it is “do or die”). First off, can I simply ask you to pray?! This (besides my battle with cancer in 2009-2010) is one of the most stressful things I have ever gone through. So please help to pray me and my family through this process.
Beyond the aforementioned, I would like to share a bit about how important Bible reading is to me; as is the study of Christian theology. Due to my work load and study load for my Railroading career (which is literally 12 hours a day, 8 hours in class, and 4 hours of study every night at home), I have not been able to do any reading in theology, or more importantly hardly any reading in the Bible; both of which I need (particularly the Bible) in order to stay sane. It is by God’s grace that I am remaining sane through this arduous process, and I am bidding my time knowing that this intense season is just that, a season. Nevertheless, I have been wired a certain way, and have been called, I believe to be a teacher for the church of Jesus Christ; and so I am growing weary without the constant intake of the Bible that I am so used to on a daily basis (I have been reading through it consistently twice to three times a year since 1995). The moments that I am getting to dip into the Bible right now represent sweet moments of refreshment, something like cold drips of water to my parched soul. What this season is illustrating to me is just how satisfying Holy Scripture is as it reposes and breaks off in its reality in the living and eternal Word, Jesus Christ. I need God’s Word! I can do nothing apart from Christ and his Bible, empowered by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. And it is this particular season, this particular time of stress that is demonstrating to me just how needy I am for God’s Holy Scripture, for His Triune speech of love deposited therein!
Nevertheless, what is happening is that as I (and my family) am walking through this thirsty time, the LORD is taking what has been being ingested in my life for so long and making it real once again, afresh and anew each day. He is ministering to me through it. Giving me courage and perfecting his strength in my many weaknesses that without his Word in my life he might not have the same kind of meaningful opportunity to do; since what he is ministering to me are the promises and hopes of his Word. I am dreadfully weak, I have a multitude of fears that the LORD is breaking through in my life through this process of maturation; through this process of learning to trust in him in ways that are desperate (and I am desperate for Jesus, I seriously am not adequate in myself whatsoever, and this process for getting into the Railroad is demonstrating this to me more than I would like or am comfortable with).
I had a good paying job before I took this one at the Railroad, but the Railroad, in the end, potentially, can be a much better paying job. Yet, right now we are struggling, and I mean struggling financially to make it (I am only making $400.00 a week for the first two months of training, when I was making $25 an hour at my previous job). We have to trust the Lord, once again, in ways that are entirely exhausting, but in ways that are, of course, pressing us, and me into him. I am worn out, but God’s grace is sufficient, and His Word is pure.
If you remember, please keep us in prayer through this season. If you wonder why my posts here are few and far between right now, now you know why. They will pick up again at some point, maybe within the next month.