This edition of Prayerline is guest written by Tasia, a student from the InterVarsity Canada undergraduate student group in the University of Ottawa.
‘This year I have felt more confused and overwhelmed than I am happy to admit. Actually, I lost a lot of my joy and hope for the future. I desperately wish that I could say that my faith was so strong that the trials that came with this year didn’t affect me, but that simply isn’t true. I have spent most of it sad and overwhelmed. I’ve been sad to see the world dividing, with so many people (especially within the church) arguing, and overwhelmed because I couldn’t see a way out. I guess I knew the answer was Jesus, but I was so plagued by the issues that this didn’t reassure me.
‘While I continued to pray, I stopped being open with God about my fears and worries. I was afraid he couldn’t solve them. I couldn’t bring myself to give it all over to the evermore capable hands of Jesus, because I had lost my faith in his ability to change things. I avoided the issues at all costs, which isolated me.
‘In my confusion, there was one Bible verse that kept reappearing to me – ‘come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matt 11:28). It had to come up a million times over several months before I really understood, but one night, I heard God tell me these problems are too big for you to carry. Let me take care of them for you. Finally, everything became clear to me. I realized that even with my greatest efforts, I could not resolve problems between my friends and family, let alone in the whole world. So that night, I gave my worries, confusion, and sadness to God, and chose to let him resolve them for me.
‘The InterVarsity community were understanding and welcoming, encouraging me to stay connected to God, when I wanted to hide away. A leader regularly met with me, in some of the only times I felt I could unload my heavy thoughts. I was scared to bring them up elsewhere. My leader graciously listened to me, offered me unbiased and godly advice, and gave me the freedom to be honest without judgement. When school opened again, I was so encouraged to go to the worship nights and see that I wasn’t the only Christian in the world. It was amazing to see a bunch of young people simply worshiping God, despite the state of the world. It reminded me who God is, and what his promises are for this world. He never leaves us alone.
‘Something began to change in my heart. Now I don’t have that tension in my mind, or that knot in my stomach. I’ve realized that I need to surround myself with other Christians, whose faith and hope in Jesus will encourage me to continue relying on him for everything. This year, I learned that Jesus carries my burdens and fights my battles, and that I need to continuously strive to rest in him.’
Pray for students like Tasia, and the work of InterVarsity:
- Pray that Tasia would continue to be strengthened, that ‘out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith’ (Eph 3:16-17).
- Pray for staff from InterVarsity, that God would continue to work through them to encourage and disciple students.
- Pray that students everywhere would rest in ‘the evermore capable hands of Jesus’, giving their fears about the state of the world to him. Pray that God would continue to build students like Tasia into ambassadors for Christ who can make a real difference in the world for his glory.
A version of this article was originally published on the InterVarsity Canada blog, which you can visit here.