One of them was during our trek. We'd been hiking since six in the morning, and I'd been sick all afternoon as we scrambled downhill toward a river. When we got to the river, it was four o'clock, sun was setting, and we still had five hours of hiking ahead of us. Usually I love hiking, but this day had drained me of everything. I was using a walking stick, leaning on it too much, sweaty and shaky and feeling like I had nothing left inside of me. I don't know if I've ever felt that empty before.
Another couple nothing-moments happened at the beginning this week, at the children's home, after hours of playing and being pulled in 23 different directions at once - and looking at the time and realizing I still had three more hours of craziness until dinner.
And in general, it's draining to be living in a completely different world (in many ways), away from normal things and people that I know, living out of a backpack.
And I'm realizing, in a new and intense way, that I'm nothing without Jesus. I have no strength of my own, can accomplish nothing on my own. I couldn't hike for five more hours on the trek and I couldn't play for three more hours at the children's home - not without some serious divine intervention. I've been wondering why I didn't feel like this (at least too often) during the summer, which was so busy, with my job and two internships - I think it's because at home, we have health food and energy bars, constant internet access, books and TV shows, so many things to unwind with. So when we feel empty and drained, we turn to these things for a recharge.
All of these things are good - believe me, I'd love some an energy bar right now - and I'm not bashing them in any way. I'm just realizing that they're false supports, and can make us forget that the only real recharge and refill is Jesus. Because in Nepal, especially at the children's home, none of my usual recharge strategies are available. All I have is Jesus!
"They [the Lord's people] have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." - Jeremiah 2:13I'm learning that my broken cisterns can't hold water. Even when I do have the little luxuries of internet or chocolate or a couch, they're not enough. Which is so great! I love that Jesus is the spring of living water, that when we fill up on him, we'll never go thirsty. He strengthens us with all power according to his glorious might, so that we may have great endurance and patience (Colossians 1:11). He takes great delight in us, quiets us with his love, and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). This strength is thousands of times stronger than any energy bar or chocolate chip cookie. Evidence: I climbed that mountain by the light of my headlamp until 9 o'clock that night, filled with a strength that was certainly not my own (since I'd had none at the river). More evidence: after recharging with the Lord at the children's home, I couldn't believe how fast time flew and how much fun I had with those crazy kids. For the whole entire week!
I'm still craving some healthy food, some cheese maybe, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a movie night - but not for any source of perfect or lasting energy. For that, we have to go straight to the Source.