Senior year of high school. It’s overwhelming. It’s exciting and frightening all at once. It’s the quiet before the storm of the unknown. If you are nearing graduation (that is, in your last year of high school), I believe you can relate. Quite possibly, you know the feeling all too well.
Constantly in this modern world we are pushed in this direction, pulled in that one. The opinions of others’ have turned into the commands that leave us confused and scared.
Yet, in the midst of the loudness, there is a soft whisper. You hear it. But, you’re so busy with school, and life, and trying to plan your own future that you ignore this voice. His voice. ‘Rest. In. Me.’
Rest. In. God.
We are reminded that God commands us to rest in Him. Not to earn rest somehow by doing ‘enough’ for Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rest is acknowledging that you are not in control and that God is. To rest in Him is to trust in Him. He has predestined your journey. He knows your every thought. He has your entire life cradled in the palm of His hand. In fact, He has the entire universe cradled in the palm of His hand! Every ripple of the ocean, every shining star, every microscopic molecule.
He feeds the birds of the air (Mathew 6:26). He created you in His own image and breathed His own life into you. He will take care of you!
Remember His words in all the thousands of facets of your busy life. Rest. In. Me.
Don’t fret over the unknown following high school graduation. Instead, Rest. In. Him. Simply take time to draw near to Him and He promises to draw near to you (James 4:8). Rest in His promises… His truth. Christ should be at the center of every single decision you make. Remember, the entire purpose of our lives is to bring glory to our Creator. Not just in some areas, but it in all. In that step into the unknown (whatever it may entail), evaluate whether or not, through that action, you are bringing glory to God.
Recently, the organization Desiring God, put out a several minute long video on Facebook entitled, You’re Not a Student First. In this video, the speaker informs the listener, ‘When I decide to go to college…I look at those four years and look to see how they fit into the broader vision that God is using me in His kingdom for. So, if I’m choosing a major, I’m choosing it with the identity of Christ[ian] in mind. When I think about how I use my time during the day… it’s "because I am a Christian" before it’s "because I’m a student".’
The truth is, not everyone is meant to go to college. Though many parents, grandparents, and friends (including Christians) pressure teens to go to college, isn't God's current calling for your life so much more important than anyone else's opinions? It's hard, I know. But the truth is, God loves you so much more than anyone on this earth ever could and has a special purpose just for you in His kingdom. Please don't use this as a tool that can 'get you out of' going to college because that's not at all what I'm implying. And I don't mean that you shouldn't honor family and friends (especially your parents!). I'm just saying that obedience to God comes before anything else in your life... as hard as it can be.
And have you considered a gap year? I don't necessarily mean traveling around the world to find your 'purpose in life'. I mean just taking a year off. Taking a break. Taking a rest period from studying. I believe that, sometimes, a time of rest is more beneficial to one's life than traveling the world.
If you're not sure what to do, may I make one last suggestion? If you are [kind of] interested in a certain college, try applying. If you find a certain job [possibly] interesting, try applying. If you enjoy the animal shelter down the street, attempt to volunteer. The list could go on and on. The point is, through this process of attempting to pursue something of (possible) interest, maybe God will open up doors for you and lead you to where you're supposed to be. Wait on Him. Pray. Take His word to heart. Through all of this, Rest. In. God. Remember, He has your life cradled in the palm of His hand!
With this step into the unknown, remember to ask yourself, 'Will this next step I'm pursuing bring glory to God?'
As a closing thought, I would like to let you know a little somethin'. When I write, I write these words as much for myself as I do for you, my reader. I struggle too. So, you're not the only one. Every time I write, God convicts my own heart in some amazing way. I hope that you too are encouraged, comforted, and even a bit convicted when you read these words! :)
As a last bit of encouragement, a verse from the beloved hymn, He Will Hold Me Fast...
Those He saves are His delight
Christ will hold me fast
Precious in His holy sight
He will hold me fast
He’ll not let my soul be lost
His promises shall last
Bought by Him at such a cost
He will hold me fast
-He Will Hold Me Fast, originally written by Ada R. Habershon*
*This version I found on Keith and Kristen Getty's website, www.gettymusic.com/he-will-hold-me-fast/