Delayed but not denied. That’s what my Mom always says when things don’t work out according to our timetable (which is pretty often since our timetable and God's timetable are rarely ever the same). Whether it was regarding a situation in the family or in the church or in the life of another loved one, I’ve heard that phrase spoken by Mom many times throughout my life. Those words rang true many times in my life and especially regarding my education, as my journey through college has been delayed what seemed to be way too many times. I had plans to graduate this May and have been counting down the days to when my college career could finally come to an end. Well, this afternoon I got word that, even though I will have met all my major and general education requirements by the end of this term and even though I transferred in an abundance of elective credits, I will need to take two additional upper level elective courses before I am eligible to receive my degree. I spoke with the person in the registrar's office for awhile. She was very nice and sympathetic, but the bottom line was that I had to take these classes...
One of my current classes has been very hard for me. The times I had set aside to work on that material last week, I struggled with a multi-day migraine, putting me behind in my schoolwork. But I was not discouraged because the light at the end of the college tunnel was only forty days away. I was still really hopeful. And then I found out this news. I wish I could say that I burst into jubilant song like the psalmist when I ended the call. I did not. I burst into tears. The thought of another term of tests and research papers made me want to crawl under a rock. Thank God for His patience. He (and my gracious parents) let me have my little tantrum. My awesome parents listened to me, encouraged me and prayed.
And then, I heard those four famous words from Mom – delayed but not denied. A timely reminder that God is in control. It’s not like God was surprised or like I was told that I will never graduate. Two more classes. TWO. Sure, it’s disappointing. I’m not even gonna lie. I was really looking forward to being finished, to reading the piles of non-school books that have been put to the side over the past few months. I was so looking forward to writing for fun and not having to include APA citations. It kinda stinks but it’s not the end of the world. Just one more term and Lord willing, I'll still finish this summer. Praise the Lord that after the initial shock of it all, I was able to gain perspective and look at things differently. I have my family, my health, a home. God is still on the throne, His Word is still true (Romans 8:28 - He works ALL things together for good) and my life is still incredibly blessed because of Him. Perspective.There’s no getting around that I have to take these classes so I don't wanna sulk about it. That will make matters way worse.
So I accept it. What’s nice is that I can take any upper level elective class so one of the classes I plan to take is the History and Survey of Missions. I may take another Missions course which should be pretty awesome. It could be worse. I could be taking something really difficult and stressful (like I am right now, which is a whole other story … please pray I pass Psychology Statistics!).When this college journey is finally all said and done for real, nothing will have changed. The glory will still all go to Jesus. In fact, even more so after this little bump in the road. My finishing college will be a testimony of His faithfulness. He is the one who has brought me this far and He will continue to be faithful. Instead of wanting crawling under a rock, I stand upon the Rock and take refuge in my God. My times are in His hands. Delayed but not denied.
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I am not guilty of turning from my God. 22 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 23 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 26 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. 27 You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. 28 You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. 29 With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
(Psalm 18, New International Version, ©2011)