When I started college at Ouachita (read Washitaw, for you non-Arkies) Baptist University, I was bound and determined to be a pre-med major. The science department, however, was bound and determined to weed me out.
No, it wasn’t personal. But, at the time, OBU’s pre-med program had a 95% acceptance rate into medical school. And they were proud of it! They accomplished this high acceptance rate by weeding out those who were not truly serious about breathing, eating, and sleeping science. If you didn’t want to live in the science department for four years, they really didn’t want you.
This freshman pre-med student hit the ground running with at least 18 hours, digging into major-specific courses right away. And, classes that I expected to breeze through instead kicked my tail. I continued with “the plan” for my second semester, but I immediately dropped my chemistry class. I knew I was done. So, while plodding through the rest of the semester, I began plotting my new degree plan. It would be a while before I knew clearly what else I wanted to do. But, I knew I was done with pre-med.
I’d been weeded out.
Does it ever feel like God is trying to weed you out? Trying to see if you’re really committed? Determined to beat you down if you’re not? With all of the struggles and frustrations of life, I confess that’s how I have felt sometimes.
But, have you read Hebrews 6 lately? Especially right in the middle? Check out Hebrews 6:10-12 with me.
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promise.
God does not want to weed us out. Far from it! He longs for us to succeed! He hungers for us to obtain the reward that awaits us at the end of this striving!
Looking back at my college years, I have realized something. It wasn’t so much that OBU’s system was geared to make me fail at pre-med. It was geared instead toward helping me succeed where I belonged. I wasn’t fit for the challenges of the science department. But when it came to the challenges of the religion and, with the exception of Cognition, psychology departments, I was literally fueled by the challenges. They strengthened me. They grew me. I was able to succeed in them.
God does not throw us in the midst of challenges to weed us out. He surrounds us with what will strengthen us. Grow us. Build our muscles. And bring us to the long-awaited promise of our inheritance.
Are you in the middle of a challenge that makes you feel as if you’re being weeded out? Don’t give up! Hang in there! God does not want you to quit. He wants to see you strengthened. And, the reward is worth it!