On August 19th, I will be starting back up at Reformation Bible College. Yesterday, I printed out my syllabus’s for both classes and surveyed the landscape to see what lies ahead this semester. Let us just say that even with just two classes, I will be busy. So busy in fact, that I must take leave off from social media. I am easily distracted in my older age and having social media near would no doubt tempt me. So, it is wise I believe to take leave and take root in my studies. Though only two classes, those classes being the Doctrine of Man and the Doctrine of the Church if you were interested in knowing, I am looking forward to having my mind distracted by all the work that I will be doing.
The last 6 months have been, well, filled with sorrow, grief, anxiety, worry, and depression. It will be good for me to be in study. My mind needs some sprucing up as they say. It will be good to have structure once more as my daily life fell apart 6 months ago. I imagine though I will have days of sorrow, grief, and anxiety. After all, we live in a fallen world and have these fallen bodies we must deal with. Daily are our battles. This will be a good distraction I must say and I am looking forward to being on the campus of Reformation Bible College and attending Saint Andrews for chapel on those days.
It is by His grace and His grace alone that I have made it through these past 6 months. I feel like Peter at times. I see the Lord in front of me and then I look down and start sinking into the dark depths below. The last 6 months spiritually have been, well, rough. The Lord has used these last 6 months to get and grab my attention. He awakened me that I was looking to myself, self righteous, self dependent, and well, stubborn. He woke me up so to speak. I am happy that He did. The loss of my father and brother caused me to look for Christ. I was looking to myself all too often. I was self dependent. My gaze so to speak, my focus was not on Christ Jesus Himself, but well on me. Well ,we know how that works. We gloat ourselves to be the captain of our own souls. That mindset, which is the mindset of the world only leads to destruction. It is the broad path. The Lord awakened me that I do not have control over my life, He does and that it is the righteousness of His Son He looks at. I offer none. The only thing I have is a mountain of sin that rivals Mount Everest.
Yes, He woke me up. I was not clinging to Christ. I was clinging onto things of this world, materialism, self righteousness. All damnable things. It is quite interesting how the Lord uses these events in our lives. Though in those moments, we do not see what is going on, but soon there after, years perhaps when we look back and see how God shaped and molded us.
I still deal with anxiety, depression, and worry, but I have an advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ. I am thankful for His love and the love of the Father who bestows and extends such mercy to all who would come to Him. He doesn’t hold it back like a selfish child who does not want to share their toys, but as a loving Father who wants His welcomes His prodigal son home with open arms.
He is a loving Father who has given us a loving Savior.
Stephen J. Melniszyn