So, spring break has ended. School is up and running again. All of the snow on Pratt campus melted while its students were away, and the trees are starting to bud. The sun stays out longer and the wind is heavier than ever. Homework piles up as midterms end and finals peek over the horizon as it stretches its long arms around the circumference of the world.
And I sit here and wonder what God thinks about all of this.
I’m struggling to see the purpose in my classes here. The disciples didn’t have to do homework, why should I? Shouldn’t I be doing something more important? But I’m reminded that I’m to glorify God in all that I do, that being dedicated and thorough and committed, wherever I am, is part of being a disciple too, that He’s using, yes, even college homework to grow me and challenge me and prepare me for whatever is next.
Over the past couple of days things have been a little rough. God had to take me and put me in difficult circumstances in which people I love were and still are hurting; He had to show me how helpless I am to fix things, to heal them, to say the perfect words or do some task to put everything back to the way it was before; He had to do things the hard way so I would see that I can’t do this by myself, that people change, and sometimes, most times, the way they change is not the way I’d expected, that He knows everything and I very obviously do not (though I sometimes forget…I’m still trying to figure out how I manage to do that).
I hate change, and I’ve always had trouble with adjusting to the change God brings into my life, whether it be good or bad. I always get comfortable where I am and then He shows me where I’m going next, or brings something about that forces me to cling to Him as He takes me through it. My transitioning is very sloppy and full of face-plants, long crying sessions, and complicated prayers that last for hours throughout the day that ultimately result in my growing closer to Him, though I don’t realize this until months after the fact. But in the last five months or so, I’ve realized that change is the only way I ever grow closer to Him in the first place. God’s use of change is what makes the seasons move, what puts the sun into place during springtime, what drives the geese back to the north after the snow has gone, and what pulls the trees out from shyness and into bloom. God changes things all the time, all around me.
When change does come, not just external change, like that of the seasons, but especially the changes that God brings about in my heart and mind, He allows me to cry, to overthink, to get frustrated, to misunderstand, to doubt, to be uncomfortable, and then, when I’m confused and completely unsure, when I’m sitting on my knees, looking up at Him, broken, He smiles and says “Are you done now?”
Things really aren’t as difficult as I make them out to be sometimes. The world isn’t ending, no matter what my ecology professor says. The sky isn’t going to cave in and destroy the earth (sorry Chicken Little). My life isn’t over, God hasn’t forsaken me, hasn’t revoked my salvation or taken back His promises. How He loves me hasn’t changed, and the depths and heights to which that love extends haven’t shortened or lengthened over night. God hasn’t suddenly looked at me and thought “Ugh, how could I ever love you?” When change comes, when tragedy hits, when things really are bad and difficult and seemingly impossible, He doesn’t pace the floors of heaven thinking, “Oh man how did this happen?” He’s still God. I’m still me. And the world keeps spinning.
Sometimes I wonder how my life would be if I REALLY understood how good God is. Would I even be able to move? I wonder what it will be like to finally look at Him and ask Him questions and hear Him audibly answer them. I used to have a list of questions I wanted to ask Him when I got to heaven. I’m not sure if that’s how things work, and I have no biblical basis for it, but I’d like to imagine it so 🙂 But as I’ve grown in my faith, and even as I’ve grown older, I’m becoming more, well, okay with not knowing the answers, with not keeping the questions written down or even in my head. I won’t pretend I know exactly why it’s become easier in that way, but it has.
God is really cool, ya know. And His word really does save me. I don’t mean just eternally. God’s word is the way through which I’m introduced to who He is, what He’s done, and the like. His word, along with men, is a tool He uses to bring me to Himself, but He does the saving. No, I mean that during the times when my over-dramatic-ness just overwhelms me, and when the world really does seem like it’s falling apart when it’s really actually not even close to doing so, His word is what brings me back to Him, what settles my heart and head, what reminds me that He’s the One, indeed, who keeps the earth spinning, and who brings the sun up from the sea to dawn on yet another day.
“Do not laugh at me, my enemies, for though I have fallen, I will get back up. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” —Micah 7:8