Written By Ryan Campbell
(Ninety Eight Six Guest Blogger/Contributor)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
How common is the question, “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?”
I know when people asked me that before college, my initial feeling would always be that sinking feeling in your stomach when you feel anxious. Life was good in high school, I was the captain of the baseball team, coasting through senior year of high school (like most seniors in high school), and doing well enough in my classes to get into a semi-decent college. My future and the path for what God wanted me to go down were the last things on my mind.
Unhealthy friendships and a distorted view towards those in authority over me (including God) greatly affected my view of reality. In a nutshell, I was completely absorbed in my own self in the “here and now”, to the point I didn’t care one bit about the future. Come graduation in June, reality finally sunk in and I was nowhere near ready or happy with the college I picked. At the end of chasing the high school dream and panicking to plan my future ahead of me, I grew discontent with my own plans and became depressed with what I was going on in my life. By the grace of God, He was able to guide me through my first semester of college still standing.
Though I had many trials along the way, I grew the most these last 3 years in college than ever before, and that’s all thanks to the sovereignty and provision of God. Though I didn’t want to trust God, deep down I knew it was the only way to find true joy out of life. Through my stubbornness and hardened heart God was able to still work through me and make me the follower of Christ I am to this day. It just goes to show how such little faith, like the size of a mustard seed, can go a long way into being the person God planned for you from the beginning.
The prophet Jeremiah had a reputation as bit of a crybaby in the Old Testament. When talking to God in the first chapter, Jeremiah expresses his insecurities in his conversation with God, going as far as calling himself a baby. God gives total reassurance to Jeremiah, saying “for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:5-9).
The constant theme of God providing His power through his commands is a constant theme throughout the Bible, and especially the prophets in the Old Testament. Noah was a drunk, God worked through him. Moses had a speech impediment, God worked through him. Elijah was suicidal, God worked through him. Peter went as far as to deny Christ after promising he would never abandon Him, God still worked through Him. By humbling ourselves unto God and allowing Him to reign in our everyday lives, God promises “plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11) And who are we to even disagree with that? God actually KNEW who we were before we even existed.
Think about that for a minute. He knew what our interests would be, what kind of personalities we would have, and even the amount of hairs on our head. It’s not only a slap in the face of the Creator by doing only what we want to do, but it’s making life harder for ourselves. You wouldn’t go to a fancy restaurant and expect to go into the kitchen and try to cook your meal yourself. The same concept relates to humbling yourselves, knowing what God has in store for you is best, becoming patient in those times of waiting, (which always seems to be the hardest part) and receiving what God has for your future.
When you put things into perspective, the only thing keeping us from a close relationship with God is ourselves. The same power we exert to fighting God off and ignoring Him is the same power that we could allow Him to enter our lives and gain complete control.
Ryan Campbell. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Guest Blogger, Contributor