I suppose I should pick up from where I left off in my last blog, which means I’m back-tracking a little to finish off what happened on Day 1.
Since the plane took off late from Houston, we didn’t arrive in Costa Rica about 40 minutes late, and by the time I got through customs and grab my checked bag from baggage claim, it was 3pm. I went out and Ruth was there waiting for me with a sign that has my name on it, like she said she would. As we drive home, I look through the car window to see the mountains surrounding the busy, overcast and humid city. All plant life that I can see is lush and green, and even here in the developed parts of town, there are tons of public parks with no color but green adorning their landscapes.
We get to the house, and Ruth shows me my room, gives me a tour of the house, and introduces me to the other girl renting a room here, named Lily. She is from Germany, working at the German Embassy here in San José, and speaks not only German and Spanish, but pretty good English as well. I want to connect more with her, and have her show me around a bit, but this weekend and coming week her family is here visiting, so her free time will be devoted to them. The 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms monopolize the majority of the space in the house, but there is also a small kitchen, laundry room, large open combined dining and living area, and small backyard patio with a table and chairs outside. Along with Ruth and her tenants, her sons Pedro and Oscar and her daughter Graciela live at the house. As I unpack, Ruth makes me a pancake for dinner (I haven’t eaten much in the last 16 hours or so) and some coffee – black. I am still unsure about the food here, and I really do not want to be sick on my first night, so I decline the offer of milk in my coffee until further notice. I’m also not sure about the water, since I’ve been to Mexico and know it’s definitely not safe to drink the tap water there. But later, when I am thirsting for liquid and have a headache from dehydration, I try a sip of the water and don’t get sick. I drink a whole glass and my stomach feels fine, so I decide the tap water at the house is perfectly safe for me to drink (haha). I take a much needed shower after the long day I’ve had, I decide to just go to bed because I’m exhausted.
Day 2 – Saturday, July 7th:
I started writing everything that’s happened down in my journal partially to help me remember this experience as best as I can, and also because I have so many thoughts and emotions coursing through my brain that I have to get them out somehow in order to calm down and organize my what is going on inside of me. I guess I needed some rest, because I slept 10½ hours, when usually I sleep about 6. My room doesn’t have a window or anything, so it gets really stuffy and hot, especially at night. I took another shower this morning because I was so sweaty, then mostly hid in my room all day, spending lots of time freaking out about being here and how scary it is. You don’t expect things to be so hard when you go on an adventure, but so far, this experience has been a difficult one for me. I feel alone and purposeless here, even though I know it isn’t true. The enemy attacks my mind and plays on my vulnerable emotions, and it’s a battle to remember that I’m not alone because God promises He will NEVER leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5) and that it’s okay to be scared because it is a new place and I’m still adjusting. I just cannot stay in that frightened mindset forever. I have to put on my armor, take captive every thought, and fight back because this is a war we’re fighting against Satan! I have my Bible with me, and decide to follow a “read through the Bible in a year” guide so I would have a suggestion of where in my Bible to read each day. I read both the English and Spanish translation, in my head and out loud for an hour tonight before I went to bed, and I realized that I’ve been really hungry for the word.
For various reasons since school ended and I came home for summer break, I have not spent much time talking to God or reading His word. Of course I know how important seeking after God and staying in communication is with Him because I’ve had to depend on and trust in Him for everything – even my very breaths each moment – when I was at Mercy. But tonight was a really clear reminder for me tonight of how imperative it is to stay spiritually fed by God’s word – through going to church, praying continually, and reading and studying the Bible on your own. Unfortunately, we humans are fallible and often forget even the most important things. I have heard that most people only use 2% of their brain’s capacity. That isn’t because they are stupid, but I believe it’s a function of the fall. Our brains are limited in their understanding now, even though God designed us for so much more.
I could write a whole lot on light and darkness, because it is covered extensively in the Bible; but I’ll try to keep it short for now in order to make my point. God’s Word is a powerful thing; keep it ever present in your mind and hidden in your heart. In Psalm 119:105 the writer says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (ESV). The Psalmist says right here that God’s word lights his path. We are constantly surrounded by darkness in this crooked and twisted generation (Philippians 2:15). We cannot possibly see anything clearly – especially the path upon which we walk each day, without illumination in the blackness. There are tons of verses in the Bible about light and darkness!
In Luke 11:33-36 Jesus said, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” In chapter 1 of John, it says that “the Word became flesh,” referring to the fact that Jesus came to earth in a human body. In addition to the written word of God that we have in the Bible, according to John’s account, Jesus is also the Word of God. This means that the word of God is our light, and without knowing the written word and knowing Jesus himself personally, we cannot see clearly! This is why God’s word is so essential to our daily survival.
So I want to encourage you to remind yourself however you can – seriously, put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, write it on your calendar every day, set up an alarm on your phone – to stay in communication with God throughout the whole day, every day. Even this is a challenge sometimes, but it God’s call to us to be faithful and diligent in our faith. In Proverbs 8:17, Wisdom is speaking and says “I love those who love me, and those who diligently seek me find me” (ESV). We only gain wisdom, and by extension, intimate communion with God, when we diligently seek him. It does take work, but it’s worth every bit of the effort that you put into it – I promise.