It’s that time again.
It’s time to begin another grad class. Reading through the syllabus and course requirements at the start of another course, causes me a degree of anxiety. It’s been this way for every class. At the beginning of the first class, I really freaked out and wondered if I had the ability and know-how to do it. A week and a half into the second class, I started to freak again. I had figured out that my new professor had a whole new set of expectations to reach for and I wasn’t sure if I could meet them. Now, here I am, at round three of my autism certification program. I’ve made it through two-thirds of the program and to the praise of my God, I’ve done alright. I have just eight weeks to go. And I am determined that I’m not going to freak…I’ve promised my husband.
Eight weeks doesn’t seem like that much time, does it? This class takes me through the middle of December. And then it’s going to be time to parteeeee!!!
For those of you who have hit the graduate school trail in later life like me, juggling family, day-to-day work responsibilities and grad assignments is a monumental task. I take my hat off to you all!
Like I’ve said before though, I experience a degree of anxiety at the start of these classes because I’m not yet familiar with the set of expectations before me. I feel like I’m in the dark. I feel a bit out of control. Once I have a couple of weeks under my belt in a class, then I breathe a sigh of relief. I get into a groove and work my tail off to get everything done.
Graduate schoolwork and my response to it has been an exercise of trusting my God.
When I fail to trust and become anxious, I am denying His presence, His help and His assurance. It’s no fun.
When I do trust in my God to guide me through, around and up and over every assignment hurdle, I have confidence and experience His peace. It’s a good thing.
Basically, I have a choice in this endeavor. I can choose to walk in the dark and continue forward in fear, anxiety and uncertainty. In the dark, I have no ability to see where I am going. Or I can choose to walk in the Light of my Savior, Jesus Christ and revel in His presence and be comforted by His leading and care.
The choice is really quite clear.
I can walk in fear or I can walk in faith.
When Jesus was asked to clarify His declaration about being the Son of Man so that people could better understand what He was saying about Himself, He replied…
Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” John 12: 35-36 NIV
Jesus’ use of the word, trust, centered upon the belief, confidence and faith in Him. Trust comes from the Greek transliterated verb, pisteuo. Pisteuo meant action. Jesus challenged His listeners to believe and trust that Jesus was the Son of God and that He was able to aid them with every single life concern.
Jesus put it out there for His listeners and He puts it out there for us.
We don’t know where we’re going.
We don’t have the answers.
We don’t have the confidence and ability to do everything and anything on our own.
Jesus is the Light of the Divine and the Light for every child of God to embrace and depend upon with every aspect of their lives.
We are children of the Light.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-9 NIV
Unlike those that listened to Jesus over two thousand years ago, and enjoyed His presence in person and then tragically experienced His absence when He died on the cross of Calvary, we have the Light of His presence available to us all the time. Through the power and blessing of the Holy Spirit, we are encouraged to live in acknowledgement of this divine presence as children of Light.
When I freak out about a graduate class, I am choosing to deny the presence and help of my Lord and Savior. I am choosing to imagine a future without my God’s care and guiding hand. I’m choosing to be in the dark.
This time around, I can choose to freak out again because I don’t know what’s ahead and be anxious about how I will perform to meet the tasks ahead of me.
I can choose to trust and believe that my Lord Jesus is present and able to assist me and live in His Light. The choice is mine. Back in August, when I had just begun my second class, I wrote a blog post entitled, I’m A Big Fat…. In August, I needed a reminder about where my identity is found.
Friends, I don’t want to be writing a blog post in two weeks time that I haven’t yet learned this lesson. Three times I’ve been given an opportunity to trust my God with a graduate class. It’s not the biggest concern or need I’ve had in my life. It’s not cancer. It’s not the death of a family member. It’s not an autism-related issue. It’s not Zim time. However, this is what I am dealing with now.
My God uses every little and big circumstance and issue in my life to teach me more about Him. Each opportunity brings me one step closer to living a life transformed and empowered by the Light of His presence.
Tomorrow I begin my next class. Will I walk in darkness or will I walk in the Light?
The choice is mine.
Photo by Ani_pics of Flickr