I am really excited to have my meditation in The Upper Room today. To think that my story could strengthen someone’s faith today? Oh, what a blessing it is! I am also happy to connect with readers in fellowship, even those who are thousands of miles away. Isn’t God’s love such a wonderful bridge?
In my meditation, I wrote about the joy of obtaining a first class (honors) at the end of my undergraduate degree despite my financial constraints. Now I’ve spent two years applying to graduate school assistantship positions, and God seems to be saying, “Hold on.”
I’m sure nearly every Christian would agree that it is difficult to see the good in a bad situation when we are in the middle of it. Our doubts and fears blur out what God is doing behind the scenes and lead us to focus on the ugly situation.
But the good news is that while the devil may have a field day frustrating a believer, everything is really working together for the believer’s good (see Rom. 8:28). This is why my failures no longer eat me up. I believe that my story is being scripted by a brilliant storyteller who has a strong grip of the plot. No device of hell can snatch my story from God. Of course there will be twists and turns in the story but I know the climax is certain; it will give me a future and a hope (see Jer. 29:11). Glory to God!
This knowledge has become the most potent antidote for the anxiety I have been battling since my teens. I used to worry about everything. I would spend so much time thinking about my mistakes that they grew into monsters and kept me from pursuing my dreams. These days, just before I get despondent, I remember Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good for those who love God” (NRSV).
Through every rejection I have encountered in my applications to graduate school, this scripture has kept me hoping. I am certain that soon I will encounter a professor who is willing to have me on their research team. The last few years have taught me that God’s plans usually go through a cycle to reach fulfillment. This cycle often begins when God puts a dream and a strong desire in our hearts. In time, God also gives us the strength and other requirements to follow through.
Though I may not be able to pay for my graduate education at the moment, I do not see it as an impossible goal. The Bible tells me that all things are possible or those who believe (see Mk. 9:23). It also says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (see Phil. 4:13). So it doesn’t matter what my financial situation says right now. The only thing that matters is what God has promised.
I look at my reflection in the mirror and say, much like Caleb and Joshua said in Numbers 14, “I am able!” My declaration of faith is thus: “I can because God says I can. God has come through for me several times in the past; there is no reason why a fiery furnace or a lion’s den will be my end. I will get on top my situation like the miraculously floating axe head. I won’t sink.”
While I look forward with a heart full of faith, here’s me lending a brick or two to someone who is wondering how to build their faith in Christ. Beloved, there’s an inexhaustible supply of faith-building materials in God’s word. Remember, “Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”