Rest For Your Soul
This has been a week of ups and downs.
Jack started his language courses and the kids are settling in more and more. Though we occasionally have tears about language struggles at school, we’ve been so pleased with the kids’ teachers and classmates! We’re having a number of parent meetings to kick off the school year and we’re feeling extremely incompetent as English-speakers! It’s a good, uncomfortable tension though. Ladies from the church have been so gracious and generous to help us translate notes from school and teacher meetings! We’ve been invited into the homes of families at church and we are becoming more and more familiar with life here. We’re beginning to build relationships, though this takes more time than it has in the past. Language and cultural barriers are difficult! Our kids are experiencing this, too, as it is taking longer than they’d hoped to deepen friendships. Every day is another step in the right direction!
However, this week, we’ve also been burdened by loss experienced in the US and around the globe. We’ve spent so much time praying for all of you - particularly our Calvary family in Illinois. It’s so strange to watch life in America going on while we’re thousands of miles away. We’re so, so thankful for social media and email that allows us to carry burdens before the Throne with you all. Our hearts are burdened for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. We love you and we’re praying for you!
Jack and I bought three different versions of French Bibles and are really enjoying reading, memorizing, and studying Scripture in a new language. Every language and every culture sees different pieces of the beautiful tapestry of the Gospel. Some stand out more than others, depending on where you’re from and what you’ve experienced. Because the Bible was originally written in ancient Greek and Hebrew, even the English versions are just as translated as any other language. As Americans, we come to Scripture with a very specific way of thinking. I feel as though I’m just scratching the surface of the beauty of Scripture, but when I see it through the eyes of someone from another culture or language, the Gospel becomes a bit more vibrant and a bit more clear.
This week, we’ve been looking at very familiar passages in the French Bible with our kids as a way to practice basic Bible vocabulary. And, not surprisingly, the living and active Word of God has revealed something I’ve never noticed before.
(Don’t worry, I had Jack do some research to make sure I’m not completely off-base in my exposition of theology here!)
In Psalm 23:2, the French Courant Bible translation writes:
Il me met au repos sur de verts pâturages,
Il me conduit au calme près de l’eau.
He puts me to rest in green pastures
He leads me to calm beside the water.
This struck me because the calmness was describing me, not the water. The emphasis was on my soul’s rest, not that I’m working hard to calm down by sitting next to quiet waters. Perhaps the waters aren’t even calm! Where do I find rest for my soul? In the presence of my Savior.
This week, with everything in the news and happening to families we love back home, may we find rest for our souls. Regardless of what the waters are doing beside us, it is my prayer that you will find rest in the presence of our Savior!