“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”Mark 10:27
It is always easy to ask God to work in our lives when there isn’t really a lot of work that we think needs to be done to improve our situation.
I was reminded of this truth a couple weeks ago when my world came crashing down around me and my future seemed uncertain.
Let me start at the beginning. I graduated with my Associate of Arts degree from my local community college (read about that here), and I will be transferring to a four-year university (for simplicity and privacy’s sake, let’s just refer to it as The University) this fall semester. Anyway, even though I am transferring as a junior and not a freshman, I still wanted the “college experience.” So I planned to live in a dorm, at least for my first semester at The University, and I cared little about the quality of said dorm as long as I got one.
I had received some lousy info regarding when I needed to apply to be housed in a dorm, so I ended up on the Housing Queue – meaning that whenever people would move out of their dorms in the summer, my place in the line would go up and up until I would be assigned to a dorm.
However, I was number 16 in March, and I had not gone up any more spots in the middle of June. So, as any anxious youngster would, I checked The University’s Reddit page to see if there had been any talk of this. And I found a post from a student saying that they were also a transfer student on the Housing Queue and that they had recently called Housing about it, and they had said that the odds of getting a dorm room were very low.
Panicked, I called the Housing Department and got told the same thing, which made me even more panicked. Then I told my parents, and we got to enjoy being panicked together as a family unit. Places in suitable off-campus units were all almost taken, and with more people realizing that they would not be getting dorms, the number of students looking for places to live near the campus was growing every hour.
That night was Wednesday, and I had choir rehearsal at my church. Since I was distraught and anxious, I did not feel like going. But if I have learned one thing in my 20 years on Earth, the times you want to go to church and be in God’s presence are when you need to be there the most.
I was able to lift songs to Heaven that evening, spend time with fellow believers, and ask for prayer about my newly sour situation. While I was there, I came to a realization: when we feel like our situation is hopeless, we have no other place to put our trust but in Christ.
It is easy to ask for prayer when we still feel like we have a lot of control over our situation, and we just want God to sprinkle a little “holy juice” over us to Jesus-ify our state of being. However, it is a lot harder when we are entirely out of other options, and all we can do is lift our struggles up to God.
We say that we trust Him, but we like having another backup plan that we can fall back onto in case we don’t like His answer.
I was never more grateful to have a flexible, adaptive family than that Thursday when we packed up into the car and drove four hours down to The University’s town. We were able to start looking at properties by 10 AM the following day. Most of the properties were on their last units, but we managed to find a darling little property within our (meaning my parents’ budget) that I fell in love with and was able to snag one of the last spots in a 4-person cottage.
Not only is the living community close to the University, but a bus also comes every 10 minutes to transport students to campus for free! So another big concern (the problem of needing a car to get to class since I would be living off-campus) was also provided for by God at the same time that He provided me a place to live. God truly is fantastic; even when we are entirely occupied by one specific problem, He is so far ahead of us and is solving the issues farther down the road, sometimes even before we have the chance to encounter them.
Now that the experience is “behind me” – until move-in day at least, I have to stop and check myself whenever I am talking about getting a place to live because I tend to say something along the lines of “WE managed to snag one of the last spots in a cottage,” or that “WE were so lucky to find out about the dorm situation sooner rather than later.” These statements are not false, but they leave out the most important person who made all of it happen: The Lord. WE did not do any of it. It was all God.
Of course, my parents drove us out to the University’s town to find a place and are paying for my rent, but God is the one that arranged all of the elements and moving pieces of the situation to fall into place when they did.
To conclude this story, I just want to encourage everyone out there who feels that God cannot take the mess that they are in and turn it into something beautiful because you have forgotten that this is where God does the best work, in messes that no one else can work in. That is what lifting our struggles to the Lord means: letting Him work in the situations in which we are the least comfortable.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and I look forward to updating you all on my journey when I move into my new place and start my semester at the University.
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Until next time!