I am currently in the newsroom surrounded by rough draft magazine spreads and tingling emotions in the air. I am breathing in those emotions and trying my best not to breathe them out on the people around me. This past week has been a black and white, hot and cold, Jesus-filled and Jesus-less week. Our magazine, Pursuit, is behind deadline, two designers decided they wanted to quit, my design editor is sick (on top of the 18 spreads he has to design this weekend), multiple stories had to be rewritten, and I am in the midst of a back-and-forth spiritual struggle.
I am ashamed at how worked up I get over petty circumstances, but I am thankful that God has given me work that I am incredibly passionate about.
I am frustrated with people being… well, people, but I am beyond grateful for the talented people God has placed on my staff.
I am seeing this entire magazine as a worthless burden, but I am astonished by how God uses this imperfect publication, produced by imperfect people, to glorify His name on our campus.
But when I am tempted to give in to the drama and selfishness of the circumstances of my day, I have to stop because all of those worries and selfish desires are folded up and resting inside a little glass jar in the newsroom. This jar is affectionately known as the “Jesus Jar,” and it is a simple illustration that holds me accountable to relinquishing control of my circumstances to the Lord. Once the situation is folded in paper and dropped into the jar, it lands on a multitude of other struggles I once had, and then I cannot retrieve it. Jesus has it.
I am now compelled to also evict these new stresses from my heart and into His.
Sometimes in those stressful moments, I have to choose what to dwell on and what to stop dwelling on. The Jesus Jar comes in handy for the latter, but help for the former has recently come through the Psalms. Just the immensity of God’s holiness brings perspective and humility into my humanly woes.
“But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in your hand;
Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!
O Lord, let me not be put to shame,
For I call upon you.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
In the cover of your presence you hide them
From the plots of men;
You store them in your shelter
From the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
For he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
When I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
‘I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
When I cried to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The lord preserves the faithful
But abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
All you who wait for the Lord!”
Psalm 31:14-16 & 19-24
It is so easy to focus on the bad, and sometimes it is so difficult to see the good. God is the good in our lives, and He is powerful enough to hold the bad of our lives in His hands.
Pursuit will come together. The stories will be rewritten, my design editor will be relieved of his sickness, we will have an amazing photo for the cover, and we will sleep through the entire night once again. There will be a magazine on the distribution stands across campus and rather than a symbol of bitterness, it will be a symbol of the ways God stretched my character, developed my talent, humbled me, and taught me to trust him…
…and with that, I will make yet another visit to the Jesus Jar.
About the Author
Well, hello there! My name is Lauren and I am a follower of Jesus Christ. As a senior at California Baptist University and the Editor-in-Chief of the campus magazine, Pursuit, you can find me at anytime reading in a coffee shop or working closely with my fellow editors in the newsroom. I believe in harnessing the media’s influence for the Gospel and believe that storytelling will be a strategic tool used for the growth of His Kingdom. I am excited to be interning with GLOW and look forward to the ways Jesus will use this platform for His glory (stay tuned for more on Tuesday).