A few words that reflect much of this semester would be: Stressed. Anxiety. Overwhelmed.
The biggest attack that the enemy has used against me the last few months has been to make me stumble over schoolwork. My grades have suddenly become much more of a big deal than they have usually been. Normally, an upcoming exam would have me feeling a little overwhelmed; this semester, an upcoming exam has left me in utter panic. Sleepless nights, days without eating because my appetite has been hindered by worry, evenings of anxious thoughts and trembling hands as I attempt to read and re-read textbooks and balance my hectic schedule.
Exams don't matter as much as professors pretend they do. They certainly aren't worth spreading myself too thin. They aren't worth placing my grades over my ministry. They aren't worth the heavy weight of anxiety and stress. I'm in college to learn and to achieve what I need to maintain the right career. But the ministry God has given me in this time of my life is important too.
Today I was reminded of this when reading Deuteronomy 7:18-19. In this passage, the Israelites have been asked by God to conquer the lands around them in order to enter the Promised Land that the Lord has delivered them into, but they're afraid. The magnitude of the armies around them seem overwhelming and terrifying. Moses told them, "But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out."
When I'm stressed out about school, I tend to think that I can never overcome what is ahead. My problems and tasks seem too big and too scary for me to ever conquer. So I panic, even though panicking will do nothing about the situation.
All the while, the Lord is whispering to me, "You've seen with your own eyes the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, how I have brought you out again and again when you've gone through the darkest of trials. Why can't you trust me to bring you through this one?"
And so I will. No more faltering under the heavy burdens of stress and fear about my schedule and studying and the tests looming over me. God is faithful. With His mighty hand and outstretched arm, He has brought me from the hardest places. He can certainly bring me out of this semester of schoolwork with joy and fullness of peace.
My confidence should be in His love, not in my own ability (or lack thereof).