As I reflect on my third semester of college, I am honestly overwhelmed, but mostly grateful.
I have formed relationships with people I would've never expected, and I have been pushed to my own personal limits, teaching me to rely on the grace and love of Jesus. I've learned what it truly means to surrender all that I am, and ever hope to be, to the will of God. In surrendering, Jesus has given me so many incredible opportunities to share His love and grace with my peers.
One night, a few weeks ago, one of my closest friends called me late at night. He had been struggling with something and just really needed some encouragement and prayer.
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Romans 8, so I flipped there and began to share some things God had taught me through His word with him- only to later realize I ended up in the exact passage God wanted to use to speak to my heart that night, too.
The whole theme of Romans 8 is victory –– victory in our sweet Jesus. Verse one opens the chapter with 'no condemnation,' and verse 39 ends it with, 'no separation.' And that is exactly what we gain when we are made new in Christ - a way to the Father - we are no longer condemned by, or separated from, our good, good God.
Jesus paid our debt, and His sacrifice bridged the eternal gap between us and God.
This semester, I threw more pity parties than I can count –– I'm too tired, too broke, to unqualified, not smart enough, etc. I tried to wave the flag of victory and victim simultaneously - claiming victory in Christ while living victim to my circumstances.
But I've realized it is hard –– in fact, nearly impossible –– to live in defeat and play the victim card when Paul gives us encouragement like that straight from the Father.
And after I read that passage, I considered something I never had before - I'm always thankful for God's word and the truth that it holds. But I've never really thanked God for the willing spirits of the hearts He used to write scripture.
I've become a little for thankful for Paul's spirit - I'm really glad he said " yes" to letting God work in and through him because 2,000 years later, I needed the words the Spirit gave him.
Since then, I've wondered if Paul realized how big of an impact his surrendered heart and willingness would make on others' lives.
Many are the stories in the Bible of ordinary individuals that said 'yes' to God - those same individuals are the ones we model our lives, love, and leadership after - David, Mary, Ruth, Moses, and Jesus, who surrendered to the Father' will as well (John 6:38), just to name a few.
Today, be encouraged, like I have been, that God can, wants to, and will use you to accomplish His purposes. There is nothing that can be done that can disqualify us from being used by God. We can't blow God's plans for our lives - we're not that powerful.
There is no limit to what God can do in and through the lives of those that are sold-out and surrendered to Him. Say 'yes' to Him today.