“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14.25-27)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16.33)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with contentment. As a kid I moved a lot, and each new place I went I either wanted to be back at the previous place or on to the next one, never really being satisfied with the present. For me, college was no different. I desperately wanted to be overseas, living in a different culture and experiencing God’s work in and around me in new and exciting ways.
And while these are noble goals, my focus was so misplaced. I couldn’t see how college would truly satisfy me or benefit me at all but I wasn’t daring to let God use this season too, just as he had the previous one or would for the next one. It wasn’t until I began studying Scripture deeply, in classes and for myself, that I began to see that I am not alone in this feeling.
I learned that as believers, we are always living in this weird in-between. We know that in God’s grand story we have a great future hope and promise to one day be reconciled with him completely, but for now we live in a world with sorrow and hardships and pain. So, it is only natural for us to feel discontent with the things of this world. This world is not our home, and there will always be a longing in us for something more, something greater to fill us and complete us.
This is where Jesus’ words bring so much hope. We know that in the end, he has overcome the world and will one day come again to fully bring us back to himself. In this weird in-between time, however, he’s given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us peace. He can and wants to use us in this world to be his hands and feet, to share his peace as he’s given it to us. While it is often tempting to see this as starting with our careers or “future”, God can use you and me, right here and right now.
Take a few minutes to listen to the Holy Spirit, the bringer of peace, and thank him for the present— for this season, as chaotic or often mundane as it can be—for this too he will use! One day you will look back on these years and praise him for the good, the hard, and the growing. But for now it is a beautiful thing to trust in the Lord and understand that just as he was faithful then, he is faithful now, and he will be faithful always.
About the Author
Rachel is Sarah Tarleton’s sister and is currently a senior in her last semester at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. She grew up as an MK in Russia, and after graduation she is excited to start a new adventure and head back overseas, this time to China, where she will be teaching English to university students with ELIC. Rachel loves investing in women; she can’t tell a story to save her life; and despite being an incredibly picky eater growing up, she has become quite the foodie and can’t get enough of Asian cuisine in particular.