My feet are currently pale white with the fading pain of thawing bringing life and colour back to them. I just walked outside barefoot and stood on a wet bench in the 35 degrees fog because I wanted to feel something. I wanted to be reminded of the fact that I was alive. I felt stuck. I felt trapped. I had so much to process and the introvert in me just wants to run out of this little town through the West Bank into the wilderness. I want to be alone with the Lord. I want to scream and shout and rejoice and weep before my Saviour without any inhibitions.
But I can't. The closest thing I can do is go on a walk on the little streets of Jerusalem with at least two other people, a Nokia phone, and a piece of paper saying where I'll be and when I'll be home.
I am a restless soul, struggling to survive in this submarine of a hostel. I want to run and explore and go out until the sun sets with absolutely no plan. I want to hear stories from strangers and follow Jesus to places I've never been before. But sometimes that looks different than how I think it should. And sometimes freedom isn't what I dream it to be.
Sometimes following Jesus means giving up my desires and living in tight quarters with people who discuss controversial theology until two in the morning outside my door. Sometimes it means having hard conversations and asking for forgiveness a lot. Sometimes it means following rules that the pride within me deems unnecessary and waking up early to get an hour of silence before the Lord that is inevitably interrupted.
And although I may be a slow-learner, I am indeed learning here. I'm learning it's a lot more tempting for me to be selfish when I can blame it on the way I process or on the situation the Lord has put me in. I'm learning I am incredibly in need of His grace and mercies that are new every morning - even the mornings I yearn to run away into the abyss of the wilderness where the Israelites wandered. And I'm learning true freedom.
Because freedom isn't really a physical condition at all. It's a statement of liberty from the chains of the shame, bondage, and punishment of sin because of Christ. And I can choose to rest in that freedom today - here.
Please be praying that my restless soul learns to rest in the Lord and in His goodness. My restlessness is a pretty petty concern here, but I desire to be a missionary in a high-risk country where my physical freedom will inevitably be lessened. And I need a huge heart change in this area towards humility and rest.
Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Let all that is within me rejoice in His holy Name.