I remember my results day. I remember feeling like a dam ready to burst. I knew that logging in and looking at those four letters could either bring waves of disappointment and worry, or floods of joy.
Since then, I’ve realised that whatever feeling waterfalls over us in times like these, there is one thing we can remember that gives an underlying, God-honouring confidence and peace: we are where God wants us to be.
The right place
Believing that things are random is a mistruth that can lead us into whirls of anxiety and pressure. But Acts 17: 26-27 reminds us that nothing is random:
‘From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.’
With a careful and steady hand, God shapes our boundaries and times. The grades He gives are designed to put you in a specific location, surrounded by specific people, studying a specific subject – or perhaps not continuing to study at all.
I have a friend who didn’t get one grade he needed. His first-choice university didn’t accept him, so he ended up going elsewhere, enjoying a different subject, serving in a different CU, and even meeting his future wife. Later, his paper was re-marked and brought up to an A, but God had intended that marker’s momentary lapse in judgement – only for a few weeks – so my friend would end up in an entirely different place.
We can have total confidence in the circumstances our grades give us because we know that, like a personally tailored suit, they have been designed just for us.
A faithful Father
I also know others who have struggled and suffered in the place God put them. And it’s easy to question why God would design those circumstances. But then I remember:
Joseph was where God wanted him not only when he was sitting on the highest seat of Egyptian government but when he was in a dungeon for two years.
Ruth was where God wanted her not only when she happened upon her future husband, Boaz, but when she was in a strange country with no husband, no work, and no food.
In both good and bad circumstances, God is a loving father who is working for the good of His children (Romans 8:28).
He’ll sometimes give hard times to shape our hearts – like how He used jail to humble Joseph. Or for reasons we’ll never know.
So even if you are in unexpected and unideal circumstances after receiving your results, you can have peace because you know that it is a loving God who has marked out your place.
Confidence and peace
We can have confidence and peace that goes beyond circumstances and underneath every feeling.
Beyond first or second choice universities, under sadness or happiness, disappointment or relief, we know that God is the true marker – so we can be confident and assured, even if we’re hurting.
Instead of allowing the illusion of randomness to steal our peace, let’s use this confidence to press into whatever is coming with prayerful, God-honouring intentionality, like Joseph and Ruth.
I thank you for guiding me through my exams. I give you all my hopes and fears. As I look towards the future, fill me with your peace. Thank you that I am held in your love as your child.
Written by Gina Vaughan, a former Relay Worker with UCCF.
If you’re heading off to university in September, why not get in touch with your CU today? They can’t wait to meet you and get to know you before term begins: www.uccf.org.uk/starting-uni.
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