Have You Given Up on God?
Sitting in the lecture hall of a Chemistry class as a sophomore, waiting for the professor to arrive, I remember feeling the anxiety and disheartenment of what the next few moments we're going to look like. It was a week after our last major exam before finals began, and I knew that I had to pass this test if I had any hope of passing the course. Knowing that I didn't want to retake the course, I prayed, quietly took out my class notes, and began to wait. The teacher, a gray-haired, middle-aged man, rushed into the lecture hall with a huge stack of papers in his hands. He began to gloat over how surprisingly well the class average was for this exam because he knows that the exam was extra hard - to weed out the weaker students from the stronger students. Then he turned his attention towards those students that didn't do quite as well, noting that the lowest exam scores were in the single digits. I just hoped that I wasn't one of those few.
As the lecture drew near its end, the professor walked towards the backdoor of the class to layout the exams. I wasn't in any rush, but I did want to know. When I opened my exam paper to the last page where the grade was, my worst fears became a reality. Not quite having a single-digit score, my exam grade averaged out to be an eleven. Yep, two ones right beside each other. Ten plus one.
I remember that day so vividly - the dejected and dispirited state that I entered lasted for two whole years, ruining my self-esteem. It wasn't just this one exam that did this to me. The exam only amplified the desperation I was already feeling. My social life was in turmoil - all my "friends" seemed to slowly fade away. My spiritual life was on the rocks. My emotions were all over the place. I remember constantly crying out to God with the same simple question, "Why?" Being overwhelmed and so confused about everything at that point, I began to feel as though God had given up on me.
I began this blog at the end of this same year of being a sophomore, one of my hardest times. At the time that I started, the blog was only meant to share the Gospel and encourage others in their walks with Christ. The more that I've written here, the more I've realized that God hadn't given up on me. At that point, my relationship with Christ, in my mind, was contingent upon the personal and academic successes that I made happen - it had nothing to do with Him. I hadn't truly grasped with understanding my identity in Christ, so I was the one who had given up. As followers of Christ, our identity isn't stemmed from money, success, how many degrees we have, where we work, or what we wear. Our identity is rooted in the One who has made us complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10), the One who has predestined us according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).
In those moments of fear and anxiety, rest peacefully in the promises of Christ, walk worthy of the calling He's placed before us, and be comforted by the grace and mercy that flows abundantly from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[a] 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” - Hebrews 13:5-6