Yesterday was a difficult day in more ways than one. First of all, our tour of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan took a long while on Saturday. I didn’t return back to the apartment in Karaganda until 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. I got up by noon and then drove to Temirtau to be in the service there at 3 p.m.
Much of the service was a blur for me. I couldn’t really concentrate. Under the circumstances it would have been hard to concentrate in English, but I was having to try to listen and understand in Russian. One young man, Edik, preached about fear. I must admit that I don’t remember much of the sermon as he used many scriptures, but I do remember him speaking from James 4: 7-8.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Submit, draw near…
Those words stuck out in my mind and still do. Even in the midst of trials and struggles, God desires for us to have fellowship with Him. I get busy sometimes “doing” things for the Lord’s Kingdom, but He really doesn’t need me to “do” those things. Most important to Him is my relationship/ fellowship with Him.
The book of James is about enduring trials and tribulations. I spoke to our group from James 1 after the police came. I even shared with some other people that maybe the young people from the west (being obviously vague) needed to witness this type of struggle to strengthen their faith. Even after Ukraine gained it’s independence, in the mid 90’s we were often visited by the police when we gathered on the street.
Please pray for me to submit and draw near to God in the coming days as I return to America to be with my family.