A lot of my friends are graduating soon, and it's been a blessing to hear the hearts of those who are venturing into a new season of life.
There are soon to be doctors and nurses. Professional athletes in the making. Lawyers. Accountants. Pastors. Wall Street Stock Brokers. Teachers. Even actors and actresses.
But there's a common question that's been asked time and time again:
"What if I'm not ready?"
I just turned twenty-one a few days ago. So, I was talking to my friends about some of the things I was reflecting on. When I was a kid, I had an idea of what it would feel like to be twenty-one; I had the ideal picture of myself at that monumental age.
But the crazy thing is, now that I'm twenty-one, I don't feel what I thought I'd feel. I don't even look like what I thought I'd look like! Truth is, the age carries more weight in foresight than it does in hindsight. However, that doesn't escape the responsibilities and the reality that exist around me as I write these words.
I am entirely legal to purchase and consume alcohol in any state, and in any country. I can buy any kind of weapon, and can get a concealed handgun license. I can buy hotel rooms. I can register to use rental cars. I can buy a house. I can get a steady job. By societies standards, I am an adult.
But I still feel like a kid.
I still watch scary movies and sink in my seat when things get real. I still play Nintendo 64 with my roommates, sometimes for absurd amounts of time just because I'm that easily entertained. I still have homework, tests, and quizzes. Shoot, I still like watching cartoons.
So what am I supposed to do when I don't feel like I'm ready to handle the role I've been moved into?
Walk by faith. I don't mean blind faith - the 'ole "you'll be fine; don't worry about it." No, I mean an active, living faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a decision that says, "I may not know what lies ahead, but I know Jesus is there. He's been where I'm headed. He will lead me to every single spot. And He will always be with me and way ahead of me, all at the same time."
No matter the storm that surrounds us, no matter the size of the waves or the speed of the wind, they both still know His Name. There is not a single detail of life that hasn't been before His Feet. There isn't a single moment that hasn't already been addressed and answered. Truth be told, God knew we wouldn't feel "ready", and yet here we are.
So if God, the same One who split the Grand Canyon and hung the stars in the sky, is in complete control of every aspect of our lives down to the last nanosecond, then what do we have to fear? If He has proven to be so detailed that He designed our very DNA, why would we doubt His ability to lead us through the fog we're so worried about?
Fun fact: if we were to have the DNA that makes a single human being be completely stretched out in physical form, the strand of DNA would be twice the size in diameter as the solar system. Don't believe me? Look it up.
The question now transitions from "what if I'm not ready?" to "do I trust God?"
So, do you?
I can tell you one thing is for certain: He gives us plenty of reason to trust Him.
The proof was hung on The Cross at Golgotha. God knew the brokenness that would live in each of our hearts. He knew that battles we would fight in secret. He knew the poor decisions we would make. He knew the pride that would blind us. He knew that we would come out of the womb believing that we didn't need Him- that we would be perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves and finding our own way. Yet, Jesus still came.
He endured an unbelievably gruesome death. He sweat blood in anticipation of the 39 lashes with a lead-tipped whip, of the 6-inch thorns that would be pierced into His head, of the 9-inch nails that would be driven through the bundles of nerves in His wrists and feet. He knew His Call, and He knew who we would be. He knew that we would walk in sin, and would choose to do so; yet, He still died for us on that Cross. And what was uttered in the midst of it all? "Forgive them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:24)
See, He knew that sin was stronger than us. And He knew that we wouldn't see our own sin without His help. He knew that we couldn't save ourselves, and that death was our destination. That's why He presented Himself as a Living Sacrifice- to pay the debt we couldn't pay, and give us the gift of enjoying life in the fullest way: by walking out our faith in Him.
Jesus loves us; He loves us so much. And God's Word says that nothing can separate us from that love (Romans 8:38-39). God orchestrated every single detail of our lives long before we even showed up. Jesus died 2,000 years before we came into existence. Moreover, God has covered us, strengthened us, grown us, loved us, and led us to the exact spot we find ourselves in at this very moment, whether we have trusted Him or not prior to today.
Think about that... He's covered you through this very moment, even if you haven't made a conscious decision to trust Him yet. So, my question to you is how much peace, how much rest, and how much joy would you have if you actively chose to trust Him? When we decide that a living faith is independent of the environment, we believe, whether we see the sun or are surrounded by the fog. That's faith.
So my challenge to you...choose to walk by faith.
Choose to trust in the love that's been so evident. In the grace that's covered us in spite of our sin. In the vision that's led us through the storms and the fog. In the wisdom that's acted as our compass and our roadmap.
Choose to trust in the fact that God knew we "wouldn't be ready." Honestly, I feel like "not being ready" is simply a gift that is intended to lead us in one direction: into His strong Hands.
If anything, understand that there is no greater life to be lived than a life spent with the Source of life itself. Living, truly living, is rooted in faith in the One who brought life into existence. That's why Jesus came...to give us life.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." -John 20:31
I want all of you to know that's it's okay to be afraid sometimes- it's okay to see the fog and think "I don't know if I can do this." It's a moment that finds us all.
Choosing to follow Him anyway, in the middle of the fog and in the midst of the storms, makes all the difference in the life we will live.
Don't be afraid to be great...don't be afraid to go where God has called you to go and to be who He has called you to be.
We may not know what the journey will hold, but we know the destination we will surely reach: life everlasting.
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." -2 Thessalonians 3:16
Be at peace. Choose faith in He who is able.