“A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.” Job 40:23
When your life turns into a “raging river”, what do you do? What do you secure yourself in when the calm waters turn furious and the roaring wind pulls you downstream? Do you secure yourself at all or simply give in?
Life is a river and we are its passenger. We have no control over the speed of the rapids, the weather or the rise and fall of the sun, but we do have the ability to choose our focus and make choices on which way to turn when the time comes.
Job 40:23 and its surrounding verses remind us that God is, was and always will be more than enough to sustain us. The hardships we are facing are fleeting, and circumstances change by day. But God is always with us, watching and protecting us. He sees all suffering and knows all worries. 2 Kings 20:5 tells us that God has “heard your prayer and seen your tears” and then assures us that He will heal us.
Remember that you are not your circumstances. And while the things that we go through may give us new perspectives and change our feelings towards certain things, we don’t have to let them define us. According to Romans 12:2, God commands us “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”. There is a big difference between allowing hard times to transform and renew your mind and allowing them to give you a hard, negative outlook on life. Difficult situations create spiritual warfare within us, but because we know God and can ask Him for strength and peace in all situations, we do not have to give in to that negativity and let it get the best of us. Just as God sees every tear, he also sees when we are hurting but choose to turn to Him and praise Him even despite our misfortune.
Recently I became very overwhelmed with all the things going on with my life. Amidst everything going on, I became pretty sick and had to stay home for three days. That included having to reschedule an exam and a quiz, missing a dinner date planned with friends and church events, missing four of my classes and being pretty darn lonely and miserable at home. I started the week with a long to-do list for assignments and other things that needed to get done while at school and goals for the gym. I essentially could not get anything done because I was sick, which led to me feel rendered helpless. At first, it did get to me during the first two days I was home. Then, Anthony from Instagram requested that I read Job 38-42 and write a post on something from there. I began reading, and my mind was renewed by the scripture as I read it. There are many encouraging words within those chapters, but Job 40:23 really stuck out to me. I had felt that as I was stuck inside my house sick, the world continued to go on around me and leave me in the dust, buried in the pile of things I was unable to do while I was sick. I felt that I was falling so far behind and I was growing worried and anxious. But this verse from Job reminded me that, yes, things may come up and there will always be obstacles, doubt, worry and fears but my God gives me peace to not become let my problems get me down. Not only that, but my God gives me strength to overcome the obstacles and also be blessed by them.
I praised God for giving me that time, because it truly showed me how much I appreciate the nature of my life. I often find myself wishing I didn’t have to go to school and work all the time and constantly be on the go during the week. But being home for three days made me realize how much working and being a student is a blessing in my life and how much I value being able to work and improve myself and strive towards my goals.
Think of all the hard things you’ve been through in your life and how many times you felt that you wouldn’t be able to get through it. And here you are! You are much stronger than you know, and God will never put you through anything you can’t handle with Him by your side. If you are going through something right now, rest assured that God is going before you and working things out before you even reach them. Do not give up in the face of adversity.
And please if you ever do feel overwhelmed, alone, or start doubting yourself, feel free to message me on Instagram @christianoncampus and I would love to pray for you and work through it with you. Feel free to also comment any prayer requests below.
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Thank you for reading,