Thankful for Midterms: Rejoicing in the Nearness of God.

 

 

 

Have you ever questioned whether God was really present with you in the mundane things in life? I mean, sure, it seems simple to find God at church or in your daily devotions, but it seems to be much harder to find Him in events of the “daily grind.” This is something I have been wrestling with this semester. I am a junior theology major at Lee University this year and I have been intentionally trying to find God in my school work. Now, I know what you are thinking! “He’s a theology major; of course he can find God in his “daily grind!” Now in some ways this is very true. I love my Bible classes because, in them, I am daily confronted with the Word and am forced to apply these truths to my life. However, theology classes usually frustrate me. These classes simply have us study major thinkers in the history of Christianity and what they said about God. Specifically, I am taking a Contemporary Theology class this semester, which covers major theologians from 1850—present. In this class, I have been studying modern German liberal theologians who basically forsake the Bible as the source for their theology (there are a few exceptions; however, one of them was even an atheist!). These guys are very hard to understand and I have been having a difficult time finding any spiritual application in their writings. Thus, I have been asking God, “Where are you in this class?! Please show me something.” And just this past week he did.

This past week, I studied like mad preparing for my Contemporary Theology midterm. The test was a 3-hour essay exam, so before the test, I had to make detailed outlines of around 360 pages of reading and memorize them before the exam. I finished the outlines the night before the exam and went to bed exhausted. I got up the next morning and memorized my essays and finally felt ready to take the test. My brain was as full as it could possibly be. I wanted to go in, write all of the contents of my brain on the paper and then forget about it. But, it was during this midterm that God chose to speak to me. I was writing my last paragraph in my last essay on Karl Barth, when God showed me something from the material that I had never seen before. I was writing a section on Barth’s notion of God’s freedom, when I penned this line: “It is only after dwelling upon God’s freedom that one can truly appreciate and marvel at God’s act of loving (The gospel).” After I wrote this, I realized that God was actually speaking to me in the middle of my exam! God did not have to send Jesus to save us. He would have been totally sufficient in not doing so. He owes us nothing, but in His infinite grace and love, God chose to send his Son to be the savior of the World. Amazing! He showed me that He can be near to me even in the places I would least expect to hear from Him.

This fact is something for which we should be very thankful. God is not only near at Church, in Bible study, or in prayer. He is even near to you in the places you would least expect him to be. Maybe you are in school too, or working in your various vocations, or something else. And maybe you have a hard time believing that God could speak to you in your “daily grind.” If this is the case for you, I want to let you know that if you ask Him to show you his nearness, He says he will do so.

 

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. Psalm 145:18. 

And when He does, I exhort you to rejoice and give Him thanks for His nearness. 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5. 

Now I am excited to see how God chooses to reveal Himself in my Contemporary Theology class! I am thankful for midterms. I hope that you will be thankful for God’s nearness in all things this Thanksgiving season. 

For what great nation is there that has a God so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him?
Deuteronomy 4:7.

 Happy Thanksgiving!

 

If you happen to know Richard you know that he lives with purpose! Richard has been around the Precept Ministries for years and has most recently served as one of our summer interns. Richard attends Lee University and hopes to someday be a college professor. 

 

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