“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
Excitement, anticipation, and fear. This is the complicated bundle of emotions that many graduates are feeling right now as they approach their big day.
They are relieved at taking their last final exam and stoked to be done writing papers, yet the transition to their next chapter of life is a little intimidating. Whether they are going on to the next level of education or entering the workforce, the unknowns ahead can be a little stressful, to say the least.
To help take the edge off the anxiety, here are a few promises from God’s Word. You can put these truths in your pocket before you put your cap and gown on and give that tassel a flip to the other side. Just as they are true on this side of the stage, so they will also be true on the other side of the stage:
- God will always give you the measure of grace you need when you need it (Hebrews 4:16; James 4:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). It takes a ton of God’s grace (His help and favor) to live fully. But don’t bother trying to stockpile it. As in the Exodus, He wants you to trust Him on a daily basis for His sustaining grace. Just keep your heart open. Without fail, He will fill and refill you as needed.
- God will give you wisdom whenever you ask Him (Proverbs 3:5-6; James 1:5). Be humble enough to admit that you don’t have it all figured out and that you need God’s guidance and direction. Just like He did for Solomon, He always comes through with wisdom for the person requesting it. Through His Word, the internal nudges of the Spirit, and the input of others, the Lord will help you with every choice and decision that you lay before Him.
- God Himself goes with you (Joshua 1:9; Hebrews 13:5). To reassure and embolden those transitioning to a next level, God has always made it a point to say, “Don’t be afraid, because I’ll be with you.” You will fail and you will succeed, you will thrive and you will struggle, but by His Spirit, the Lord will accompany you in every single circumstance.
Graduate, if you are nervous about what’s next, that’s perfectly normal. Let that nervousness remind you to invite the Lord into everything that you are feeling and experiencing. He is already there, but He waits to be acknowledged. And when the nervousness eventually fades and you find it wasn’t as bad as you feared it would be, may you still be found walking closely with Him.
And by the way, congratulations.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.