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With the start of each new term, it once again rears its ugly head. As we move through the first few days, each class spawns its own syllabus. At first glance these syllabi do not seem very threatening. After all, they are fairly small, right? No more than a few pages. By the end of the week, each of these syllabi make one horrific point obvious. Not one professor shows any knowledge that we have more than one class.
With an entire term ahead the workload seems difficult but not impossible. Sixteen weeks, give or take, appears to be enough to get this work done. Invariably, however, it is not. You see, classes are not the only thing in our worlds. Some of us work. Oh, and don’t forget we have social lives, too. Slowly but surely it seems that we cannot keep up with the work. Just one day of “Eh, I’ll do it later,” leaves us with twice as much work. By mid-term we are in a fanatic rush to complete our reading and assignments, and hopefully have time to study for the tests also. We drink gallons of coffee and carbonated beverages just to stay lucid enough to continue reading or writing. As final’s week approaches, we inch closer to both completing our assignments and losing our sanity. So, what is a poor student to do?
Well, I found an answer, and his name is Jesus. Here is what he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” He knows how hard life can be, and he wants to lend you a hand. When we trust in him, Jesus promises to help us find that rest which our souls so desperately need.
Now, I don’t want to come off sounding like, “Believe in Jesus and all your problems evaporate,” because that is not true. However, Jesus Christ offers us a different perspective on things. As I approach the crunch of exams, I know that studies are important but they will end. My relationship with God, however, is eternal. Yes, finals and term papers are important, but they are not the end-all and be-all of my existence.
Instead of my grade point average, my focus is on Jesus and my relationship with him. Taking time each day to pray and read the Bible feeds this relationship, and keeps my priorities straight. During these times of prayer I offer my burden, the stress and pressure, to God. As he promised, he takes on some of that burden and helps me to bear it.
I remember studying for finals one year, when I had this feeling that I should spend my time studying my Bible, not my class work. I spent probably half of my study time praying and reading the Bible. The other half of my time I studied as normal. Answered prayer is not easy to explain but, let me say, my memory seemed supercharged. I found it easier to recall facts. Now, this has not happened with every test I have ever taken, but I do believe that it was God helping me during a very stressful time, and that Jesus does give rest to our souls when we respond to his invitation to “Come to me…”
For another student’s perspective on how she found relief for stress, see Jesus: A Crutch for the Weak.
Jesus: A Crutch for the WeakA student talks about dealing with academic stress.
Jesus: A Crutch for the Weak
A PrincetonUniversity student talksabout how to deal with academic stress.
by Sabriya English
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In my world where my options for coping include either jamming heroine up my veins, being involved in countless sexual relationships, or denying my problems to the point of nervous breakdown by age fifty, would it make sense to cast my hopes upon an obscure carpenter with a deadly case of god-complex?
Those times that academic stress threatens to send me plunging off of the 250-year-old ivy tower, would it make any sense to go cower into a corner with a little-“g” god who has no more the power to create me, than the ability to move mountains on my behalf? No! If I am going to serve Him instead of a wooden calf, my God must be one of ultimate power, matchless beauty, sovereign authority, and consistent grace; anything else would be a waste of precious time.
Although I have known Jesus since the age of seven, it was not until high school that I became sick of my years of lackadaisical, impotent, religious pabulum. It took me that long to realise that God is not the God of any man’s tradition or opinion; nor is He the God of hackneyed ritual. He wants a relationship with us. Today, I can praise His name more loudly because I have tasted and seen how beautifully He carries me through rough situations, causing me to cling more tightly to Him.
It is a welcome relief to be able to lay everything on the table before someone who will not laugh or be turned off. God does not require me to be perfect: He only requires that I repent of my sins and obey Him, living in a way that would speak truly of Him.
What makes a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, stand out? The relief that salvation is not a list of thou shalt nots, or threats of inevitable, eternal damnation. It is not some outrageous burden upon my shoulders. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Now doesn’t that sound so refreshing?
A crutch for the weak? Show me a person with minimal problems and the ability to handle each one perfectly; one who doesn’t struggle under his own weight, or cry or fret or worry…he lives between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. A crutch for the weak? Oh yes!
I saw that a satisfying life could not be obtained through alcohol, good grades, good deeds, or Hagen Daaz. Only when I confessed my sin, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, did I know what He meant when He promised life and life more abundantly. It feels good to stand up for something-someOne and to not have to worry about pleasing everyone else. As allergic as I am to pain, I could not say that I would die for a belief unless it had already proved itself worth dying for. I, like so many other students here [Princeton] and around the world, have found that belief in our relationship with Jesus the Christ.
“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad.” (Psalms 16:8,9)