Greetings from Dubuque!
I know I said I would hopefully post by Saturday, but unfortunately I just got my internet hooked up today. Besides the delay in internet connection, I also had plenty to do with unpacking, shopping, and spending two wonderful (albeit far too short) days with my parents (hi mom and dad!) I have already met with some lovely people and have gotten to know Kelly K quite well through our chats and shared meals/shopping trips together. She is originally from Texas, so I’m quite sure she understands my feelings of a great distance between me and my loved ones. I thought I had quite a hike to get here, but it took her a week to drive to Wartburg! It just makes me realize even more the far-reaching impact God makes in our lives. Oh, and even though she’s managing the heat much better than me, I have a feeling I’ll be much more comfortable once the snow flies. I think she said she’s seen it only a couple of times back home.
In addition to moving in- a process which took far less time than I had feared- I have managed to familiarize my self with the stores around Dubuque and had a wonderful time on Sunday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. The people there were extremely friendly and made sure to make me, my family, and Kelly feel welcomed at their place of worship. We enjoyed a refreshing rootbeer float after service, and later that evening were contacted by Andrew, a member of the church, who brought us even more goodies including a visitor packet and a big jar each of homemade brownie mix. (YUM!)
Of course I do still miss all my friends and family back in De Pere, so don’t think that I have forgotten about you! I must give a special shout out to the Tollefsons and Labs, as their support assisted me today in acquiring some much needed supplies. I would, of course, like to thank everyone who helped to support me through this process over the past several years. I would not be here today, anticipating Summer Greek and more, had it not been for your amazing support and selfless acts of love. My success is your success!
On a final note -though I will warn you it is quite long- I would like to share a revelation, or new understanding, that I came across today in my readings. I was reading Luther’s Large Catechism, specifically the part referring to the Lord’s Prayer, when this understanding suddenly hit me. Luther was explaining the meaning of “daily bread” as meaning more than just food, but rather the food, preparation, and everything else required to provide our daily bread. It made me realize that this seemingly simple prayer is really an extremely condensed prayer for everything in our lives which God has provided for us. Our house, in which we prepare the daily bread, our money, from which we acquire the bread or supplies necessary to make that bread, our friends and neighbors, who keep us and our possessions safe from harm… The list goes on and on. It just really clicked in my brain that this short little prayer is secretly asking for everything and anything that we could possibly need from God in order to survive in this one little phrase. Looking at the other parts of the prayer, I noticed the same thing as well.
The whole experience just made me realize that God really has provided us with all we need in life. He asks us to pray to him, and has given us this prayer to ensure that we are asking for all that we may need. In other words, a little bit of effort on our part results in an extraordinary feat on God’s part to provide all that He does so that we may thrive as a community of believers. In reading Luther’s explanation, I realized that there would be no way for us humans to devise and interpret how to adequately ask for all that we need. And yet God, in anticipation of this struggle, has already provided us with the answer.It seems that the answer to all our problems ends with God, and the means to asking for the answer is always meaningful prayer.
I hope that you consider this the next time you pray to God for advice, support, strength, peace, etc. I also hope that you don’t wait, but pray right now, trusting that God does provide.