When I started my first semester of doctoral studies this fall, I still had one graduate course to complete, the last of eighteen hours required to bridge a gap between my Masters of Theological Studies and the Masters of Divinity needed to enter the doctoral program at my school. My advisor recommended, even though it would stretch me, to get it over with this semester simultaneously with my first doctoral classes, so I could focus solely on doctoral work in the spring. So I listened—but it was an extremely difficult load with all of my other responsibilities. I had to drop some things in my life, like this blog at times as well as other ministry work, because I didn’t have the bandwidth to accomplish both schoolwork and ministry.
However, God knew how to keep me trudging forward.
My graduate course on “Engaging Antisemitism in the Church and Public Square” opened my eyes to the worldwide problem of antisemitism and an assigned class project turned into a mini-documentary on antisemitism that I plan to release in the New Year. Through this last graduate class, a desire kindled in me to learn more about antisemitism and to figure out how I can help remedy it. If I had not been as drawn into the course, I am not sure I would have had the same success.
Now that I’ve made it through this stretch successfully, I am taking some deep breaths and preparing our house for Christmas. I am also looking back and standing in amazement at how the LORD brought me through what seemed almost impossible at the start. He knew what I needed to help me persevere, and also presented the possibility of a dissertation topic related to antisemitism. That was a Christmas gift I did not expect.
This scenario was another example of one of my favorite verses, 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (NIV).
Whatever you are going through, no matter how difficult it is, God will provide what you need to be successful. If it is a life issue, the person totally submitted to God will receive supernatural assistance to survive the trial. When faced with a difficult circumstance, we need to release the tension and have confidence that God is always faithful. He has allowed this because He desires to display His glory through your affliction.
I know I could have never gotten through this semester without Him. He called me and He was faithful. He did it.