#13 - Learning.
Ah, this one encompasses so much! I love learning new things, whether that involves becoming acquainted with a new culture, listening to a new style of music, going back to school (I may regret saying that later this fall! ha ha), participating in a new activity, listening to a person's story (see #14), reading a book (see #16), or sitting at the feet of someone much smarter than me and absorbing every grain of substance that I can. Most importantly though, I love when God allows me to go through trials and tough situations so that I can learn more about who he is and who he wants me to be. It's a bold statement, I know. I cringe a little as I write it, knowing some of the tough things I've experienced and things that have yet to come if I truly seek growth and refinement. But in the most difficult of circumstances, God has always (Thank you God for such grace!!!) allowed me the insight to know that good will come from them, and that I will be a stronger person for having been through them. "...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5
So what's my most recent lesson? It's been a two part lesson in prayer and the sovereignty of God (with topical emphasis on hope thrown in to mix things up). It's funny how inextricably these concepts have been linked for me these past few months. In learning the value of prayer, God has allowed me to see how in control he really is. Therefore, talking to him (or begging him at times) is really the only way to hope for change! And what about getting our hopes up? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? The only answer I've come to so far is this... Hope is always a good thing when we're putting our hope in the only One who does not disappoint us.
These are things that I will never learn fully, but I pray I will never stop learning them. God, let me always be willing to learn, and please, never stop teaching me.