I used to worry a lot ( I mean A LOT). Growing up, I worried mostly about my family. Over the years, I began to worry less when I came to realize I was not pleasing God this way. Fear is not of God. Nevertheless, the past year, I had to fight against fear yet again: fear of the unknown. Not knowing what is going to happen next was a scary feeling. However, my brother helped me to remember that God was beside me and He had control (He had His hand on the steering wheel), so it was okay to move forward into the darkness until I reached the lighted area again. It was also okay to fall off the precipice. I know this sounds scary but once you do it you come to realize that there was nothing to fear. How to overcome the crippling effect of fear? Accepting that nothing was in my control and God only has my best interest at heart. No good thing will He withhold from me. His word will not return to Him void. These are things I keep in mind constantly. As Chris Tomlin sang, “I know who goes before me…the God of angel armies is by my side…whom [or what] shall I fear?” God understands our fear/anxiety/worry; thus, He continuously reminds us that we should be strong and be of good courage as He does His will in our lives. So everyday, with God, I stand against fear.
Many of us, throughout our lifetime, have grieved the loss of a loved one, a job, a broken relationship, an opportunity, a dream, or something that we valued was taken away. During my grieving process, for any of those things, there is one thing that I realized; I could not grieve as others do (i.e., Kübler-Ross’ (1969) five stages of grief/loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). While reading her co-authored book on grief, I realized I could not be in denial, anger, depression when God is in control. Once God allowed me to know that He was allowing this loss to occur, I had to accept it (or I chose to accept it). Loss for me is a bittersweet experience: bitter because I will surely miss that loved one or the thing I thought I needed; sweet because I know my loved one is in a better place, finally got to rest, no longer in pain, that loved one is God’s child first, and/or God knows what is best for me and others. One thing I am very grateful for (that made it easier to accept loss) was that God prepared me for that loss before it happened. This was of great comfort to me. Also, I must thank the Holy Spirit for comforting me and strengthening me while I grieved (remembering all our interactions and being thankful that there were no regrets). Another thing to remember, even if you follow the five stages of loss, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will be with you at each stage; they will be that rocking chair or that comforting hug. Through it all, don’t be afraid to express your emotions to God.
Forgiveness. God’s loyalty to His children is embedded in His unconditional love for us and His willingness to forgive us of our sins daily. I once found it hard to forgive. Forgiving someone made me feel weak and empty. Thank God I learned what forgiveness really meant. Over the past year, I decided that, for me to be strong and healthy, I needed to forgive some past hurts. When I embraced the action of forgiving someone, I felt strong and full/complete. See the difference? When I fought against forgiving someone, I had negative feelings, but when I was willing, I felt positive.
- Unwillingness to forgive = distress/health issues/emotional issues/spiritual issues
- Willingness to forgive = happiness/contentment/hope/restoration
Observing God’s willingness to forgive me of my sins every day of my life gave me the courage I needed to forgive others. However, forgiving others would be useless if I didn’t learn to forgive myself first.
Loyalty. I have often wondered why I am so loyal, whether it may be to a company/group or person. Recently, I have been thinking about God and I came to the realization that He is very (I mean VERY) loyal. The Bible is filled with God’s loyalty to His people/children. Even when we forsook Him (e.g., worshipping other idols, complaining, etc.) and killed His son, Jesus, God never turned His back on us. He is so loyal that even before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior He was protecting me and providing for me. Since childhood, God has protected me from death many times. I am sure many of you will be able to say the same thing once you reflect on your past. It is extremely comforting to know God is loyal to me; there is safety in knowing you have a steadfast partner who will never leave you when the tough/rough days appear. Even death will not break this partnership.
The student. This is my perspective of the student life at the Holy Trinity University. It is difficult, very challenging, and all the other similar descriptive words found in the dictionary. Nevertheless, it is WORTH IT!!!!!! At school, there is no room for competition between students. I have learnt that there was no need of me to compete with others or be envious of another’s achievement (daily reminder to self) as each of us has a specific task we must fulfill here on earth. I also do not need to attain perfect grades at all times to be appreciated or loved. God does not look for perfection in me, He is perfecting me. Moreover, there is something new to learn every day. There are just three things I need daily as I attend school; wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. No matter what I am doing (important or minor tasks), I always ask God to bestow upon me those three things. Wisdom and Knowledge comes from God, while Jesus and the Holy Spirit helps us to Understand them. When Jesus was on earth, He taught us the knowledge of God and shared God’s wisdom until His death. When He resurrected, He left the Holy Spirit to continue God’s work and His new task was to be the mediator/intercessor/connection between us (students) and God (the President). I am very happy I was accepted at this university. The classes may not be easy but as a friend reminded me recently, “He will never put more on us than we can bear.”
The faculty. No, this is not referring to a horror film BUT the faculty at The Holy Trinity University. Our first teacher/professor was God. We can read about His teachings in the Old Testament of the Bible ( a must have textbook to complete all classes). Then the next teacher was Jesus. The New Testament of the required textbook is filled with the teachings of Jesus. Then at Jesus’ death and resurrection we met the Holy Spirit (the one that always assisted us in all our classes). As a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, we could no longer have face-to-face classes with God. Jesus came to earth to reconnect us to God. By leaving behind the Holy Spirit before ascending to heaven, Jesus ensured that we would now always have face-to-face contact with God.
Which school as ever being established that allows us to be able to meet with the President on a daily basis, whenever we needed Him?
The Holy Spirit is a GIFT that should not be taken for granted. Once it’s given and received, it should be treasured and utilized wisely. Although I was baptized at age 9, I did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit until my late teens. To become a home for the Holy Spirit is a great responsibility and a joyous feeling. It’s presence is comforting and it represents the unconditional love of God for His children. Thank you God for gifting me with the Holy Spirit, the best teaching assistant a student could ever receive.
The classroom. Remember when I said that mistakes were God’s teaching tool, then the path we take to our final destination (heaven) is like a classroom. Our journey is a university, God is President/Professor, Jesus is the Dean/Professor, the Holy Spirit is the Professor/Teaching Assistant. As you see, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have teaching roles; hence we are attending The Holy Trinity University. There are so many lessons to learn at this school that it only takes death to be able to graduate. Just like any other school, there are dropouts, re-entries, and those who start early or late. However, no matter the time of admittance, we are always treated fairly and given the best education, best of all IT’S FREE!!!!!! I was once told that I should not perceive my life as a student as a sprint race but as a marathon. The school of life is a marathon where my lessons are learnt. In changing my perspective, I was able to accept the instruction given (along with the critical assessments) and be patient during the challenges I had to overcome. Having the ever-present Holy Spirit by my side gave me great comfort because I could easily approach it, especially in times of difficulty. Are you willing to accept instruction from The Holy Trinity University? If Yes, then you are on your way to receive the best education that could be ever created (beyond the capabilities of man). I AM a student of the The Holy Trinity University.