A College Semester in God's Classroom

Today's Lunchtime Musing comes from the keyboard of one of our college students. Most Sundays you can find Emily VerWay at a keyboard helping God's people worship. During the week, there's a good chance you'll find her with a volleyball in her hands.

My name is Emily. Last week, I finished my sophomore year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Superior where I am studying Business Management and International Business, and also pursuing a degree in music.

College is fun. On the outside it may look like one big social event with a few babysitters, aka the RA’s who remind me that “your voice carries.” However, I’ll be the first to say that college is hard. Getting an education is hard. Building relationships and friendships is hard. Figuring out how to be independent apart from mom and dad is hard. Learning how to walk by faith in a faithless world and community is hard.

This semester was definitely my most difficult one yet both academically and spiritually. There were days when the struggles seemed to just completely run me over, resulting in frustration, discouragement, and many tears.

There were many nights of crying out to God, begging Him to give me an answer for what He was doing in my life. I didn’t understand, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to wait on God’s time. I wanted answers and I wanted them now. I wrestled with God. I wanted to grow, I really did, but I didn’t want the pain of His refining hand.

Slowly and graciously God was changing me. Over time, He humbled me, and really, isn't it in our hardest moment when we are finally humbled that we often see God most clearly? Isn’t it in the moments that we are reduced to nothing that we see God is offering everything? Isn’t it when we feel completely hopeless that we finally recognize that God is our hope?

Throughout this past semester, God has brought to my attention promise after promise about Himself and what He is actively doing for me, His child. I have to be honest, many of them have been "simple" truths like the fact that God is good (Ps. 119:68), sovereign (Jeremiah 29:11), or the truth that I need not fear with Him (Isaiah 41:10). I grew up learning those truths and know them back and forth, but God really challenged my heart with "do you actually believe those things about Me?" Turns out I didn't.

I didn't see how God's hand could possibly be "working all this together for good" (Romans 8:28). I didn’t see how the many promises in the Psalms of God’s blessings on the righteous could be true because in my mind, I certainly wasn’t on the receiving end of the blessings.

How thankful I am that God is so patient with my unbelieving and wandering heart. He took promise after promise from His word and lovingly handed it to me. He was patient when I questioned how it could be true. He listened and cared as I poured my heart out to Him (Psalm 62:8). He taught my heart that His promises are faithful and true. Why? Because He is faithful and true.

The promises of God stand true only because of the One who is on the other side of them. God could not promise to give me only good things if He was not good. God could not promise always to love me if He was not loving in the first place. But He is each of those, and more abundantly than I could ever understand.

So the really cool things about God's promises? They will not fail me. Why? Because God will not fail me. In fact, "not ONE WORD has failed of all His good promise" to me (1 Kings 8:56). God has always been faithful to me, and I know He will be again.

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.