“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
He’ll never let good people
topple into ruin.” [Psalm 55:22]
Finals week can be a time full of striving, stress and fear about the future. It’s undeniably difficult, I’m not trying to say that it isn’t. It’s the culmination of an entire semester of study. It’s a time of anticipation while grades aren’t out yet. It’s full of test taking and paper writing, coffee and all-nighters. It’s not all bad, UGA does some fun things to help take the load off, like free massages in Tate or puppy therapy. Finals season is a lot of things, but more than anything I think it’s an opportunity.
As students, we have this built-in time to practice trusting God, like the psalm is talking about. If we are always invited into this image of casting our troubles on God’s shoulders, then this week is no different. I think it can be easy to take a break from God during the busiest times. It seems too stressful or as if there is too much other stuff to focus on. I think this psalm directs us towards the idea that the most stressful times actually become easier when we partner with God during them instead of asking him to sit in the backseat for a few days.
One thing that always used to enter my mind when I was writing my papers or studying for tests was the thought that my entire future was riding on those assignments. I believed that somehow my English paper would be pivotal in my ability to get into the grad school which would in turn lead me to the career of my choice. To some degree there is some truth in that, but in those moments I was only focused on my own ability to perform as an individual.
I think that is the important thing to remember during finals. Your identity is not determined by your ability to perform this week. Your identity is defined by who God says you are. If God has filled you with passions and callings and the skills that you need to fulfill them, then one week in your life is not going to derail God’s plan. He is so much bigger than that.
If you have three spare minutes, go watch this video!
Something that stuck out to me in this poem is that the author reminds us that our major isn’t about us, it’s actually about God and the people that we are going to encounter and serve in our professional lives. Doesn’t that take the pressure off? I think the psalm and the poem are a reminder that our identity is actually based on who God says we are. Because we are his children, God is eager to come alongside us and lighten our load. He is eager to help us. He loves to help us!
God, thank you for being a God that works with me. Thank you for blessing me with this education, and for filling my heart with passions and desires for my future. Come alongside me and lead me as I walk through this season. Help me to become the person that you made me to be. Help me to encounter you this week, and to understand you in a new way. I love ya! Amen.