And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose [Romans 8:28].
Finals. The one word that sparks terror in the hearts of college students everywhere. On one hand, finals means endless nights of studying that blur into days. On the other side of finals though is the break afterwards, if we survive that long. Going into the last finals week of my freshman year of college, I can truly say that all things work together for good, even in light of a tragedy at my school this past week. May God comfort and heal the broken hearts of all those who were affected by it.
During Winter quarter, on the Saturday right before my Monday Econ final, I got a fever. The problem was I didn’t know I had a fever until later in the afternoon, after I had been trying (and failing) to study and couldn’t focus and ended up going into town to meet up with an old friend. By the time I got back to my dorm, I collapsed on my bed, and finally had the sense to take my temperature, only to find that I did indeed have a fever. I wondered why this was happening to me when I had a final at 8 am in 2 days, and wouldn’t have much time to study on Sunday either. I laid in bed wondering and wondering, until Romans 8:28, prompted by the Holy Spirit I believe, popped into my mind. God was reassuring me that things may never go according to my own plan, but He has a master plan for each of us that is beyond our comprehension.
This seems to be becoming the new trend in my life, because yesterday, which is only 2 days before my final tomorrow, I had the most severe lower back pain I’d ever had in my life. I used to pride myself in having a high pain threshold and never having to take painkillers for “little” aches and cramps, but I couldn’t help it yesterday. I laid in bed, not studying obviously, for most of the day, and only got around to studying for a few hours during the night. Again, I had to ask, “Why God?? Why does my body keep failing me right before my first final?” Coincidences don’t exist. I don’t think they do at least. When something happens twice, God is trying to speak to us; only when we’re not listening do we reduce them down by calling them coincidences. I think God was telling me to be still again, through forcing me to have to be still physically and stop working long enough to think about Him.
As I was growing up, my church, even my parents, would tell me that my priorities should be in this order: 1) God 2) family and friends 3) physical health, and then 4) education and other activities. As I got older, I realized this was not enough. This ordering leads to a compartmentalized life, where we begin to think that devoting a certain amount of time to only God counts as making Him the number 1 priority in our lives. God has something to say about every aspect of our lives – that’s what makes the gospel so universal and speak to us so deeply. God is the priority in our relationships with family and friends, the priority when it comes to our health, the priority when it comes to our education/work. He is there with us through it all. He is the lens through which we see life, not just a mere part of the picture of our life.
My eyes ever fixed upon you, to live like a child, to trust you. I’ll hold on to this treasured love. My life ever set at your feet, I give you my heart completely, to live this life always by your side. Just to be close to you. Just to walk next to you. This is my one thing, You are my one thing. [“You Are My One Thing” – Bethel Music]