With just one Greek final separating me from the fall semester and Christmas break, my heart feels like simply reflecting on the past four months. These months of college have been rigorous, emotional, and all-consuming. But they were also the best classes I have ever taken, with a fine group of students and incredible instructors.
Quite possibly, my greatest take-away from this first semester at Bethlehem would be that I know far less than I thought I did. And that is okay. If the depths of Christ are an ocean, I have just a few drops in a beggar’s cup. The story of the Bible is far larger than I ever saw, the Old Testament is far more connected to the New Testament than I always thought, and the covenants are far thicker than I ever believed. There will always be more to know and love about Jesus, and that is a very good thing.
Simply, the greatness of God moved me.
Even though the strenuous workload left me crying on many Monday evenings, “Jesus, I can’t do this!” this semester was exactly what my heart needed. I needed to see and feel—the beauty of Jesus again. Somewhere along the way, I quit seeing. This fall semester gave me the opportunity to “taste and see” that Jesus is good (Ps. 34:8). Yet one taste will not satisfy. Thirsty souls need to come to Jesus and stay with Jesus (John 7:37; 15:9). My heart needed to “know Christ” more fully and deeply (Phil. 3:10), and these classes did not disappoint.
For me, a theme of sorts that ran through this semester was this simple statement: knowledge and love are not in opposition to each other. Sometimes it feels like it is an either/or. But I don’t want to just be loving. Or just know things. I want to know about Jesus to be able to love Jesus more to be able to love others better. To the knowledgeable and loving people who helped me see that these two things are not a juxtaposition (except for how they relate to and complement each other)—thank you!
Between the class lessons themselves and an instructor’s devotionals, greater pieces of the Scriptures were opened before our eyes. When Jesus said that the Scriptures point to himself (John 5:39, Luke 24:27), he was right! All of the Bible is a trail leading to Jesus. He is the true Hero behind every human hero.
Yes, this semester was really rough, sleep was pretty low, and doubt ran rather high, but through it all, I would have to say that this was the exact place I needed to be. Because the nearness of God is good, I can put my trust in him (Ps. 73:28). With joy and anticipation, I look forward to next semester and the future.