Disappointments and Blessings

I’ve been in school more than three quarters of my life.  That’s a long time.  It really starts to wear on a person’s spirit, being in school that long.  I love learning.  It is a beautiful, wonderful thing.  I just do not like school.  The longer I am in it, the less I enjoy being a student.  Thus, when I met with an academic adviser last semester and discovered that, I thought, I would be able to graduate after just one more year, I was thrilled.  It was like being in a long, dark tunnel, and finally seeing the light at the end, knowing you’re going to make it out soon.

Today, I discovered that I have two more years of school.  This is because I’m getting my teaching credential, so in addition to taking prerequisites and finishing my bachelor’s degree next year, I have to do the credential program the year after that.

That news wrecked my day.  Like when you’re on a long road trip and you think, after days of being in the car, that you’re almost there, only to discover that you’ve got twice as far to go as you expected.  My will to do my homework snapped.  My frustration with school boiled over.  My spirits plummeted down faster than the pull of gravity.

Tonight, I had Bible study with my amazing friends.  In the conversation, it somehow came up that one of my friends said as an example, “Look at what happened with Beth’s schooling.  She went to community college for two years, then God called her to go to Biola (which was my dream school) for a year, then He called her to transfer to a Cal State.  Listen to her stories–in each place, she was so blessed.”

It’s true.  I had forgotten.  This did happen, and in each stage of the journey, God blessed me and grew me enormously.  Even more, He used me in the lives of different people who I never would have met had I not gone where He led.  Aside from frustrations with schoolwork and a couple of less-than-pleasant teachers, these past years have been blessed, indeed.  Now, in my memory, they glow brilliantly of the glory of God.

The Lord really spoke to me through what my friend said.  If I’m going to have to spend an extra year at my university, then it must be God’s plan.  He has people for me to meet, friendships for me to build, lessons for me to learn.  He has glorious plans.  He is in control.

While I’m still not jumping for joy at the prospect of two more years of school, I’m now at peace with the future.

Where are you at right now?  Are there things in your life that you really don’t want to go through?  Are you in a location that you wish you could leave?  Is God saying, “Stay,” when you want to go, or “Go” when you want to stay?

Take heart.  He has you here for a reason.  He has a plan for your life, and for the lives of everyone around you, just as Ninevah was the best place for Jonah to go, despite his wishes.  God was glorified and souls were saved when Jonah finally followed the path God had laid out for him, and in the same way, God will be glorified and souls saved when you follow His leading.

Praise the Lord!  He is good!  He has made it so that we can discern His will by the gift of His Spirit inside of us!

All glory be to God, now and forever.  Amen.

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