Today was GRE day, and it was a day full of being mindful of God’s hand in my life. From the get go, I woke up with a slightly stuffed nose and a cough, but soon after I finished brushing my teeth, breathing deeply cleared my nasal passages – thank You, Lord. I checked my phone and had received a few text messages from my friends with prayers and well wishes – thank You, Lord. I went downstairs to make myself breakfast, but found that my mom had already made breakfast for me – thank You, Lord. I checked how long the commute would take after using Google a few days ago to predict the commute time, and I found that the prediction was way off mark; it would only take me twenty-two minutes as opposed to the predicted forty-five to fifty minutes – thank You, Lord. After arriving at the testing center, I was able to find the testing center without too much hassle, and I ventured into the room at 8:15 a.m. After locking up all my belongings and entering the exam room, I found myself confronted with the computer screen I’d be looking at for the next few hours. Taking a moment to pray, I was overcome by the thought of all the people who had been praying for me with regards to the exam – thank You, Lord. I began the test, and found the first essay topic fairly accessible, finishing with ten seconds left – thank You, Lord. In each of the one-minute periods following the sections, I took time to quickly pray and ask that I be more focused on His glory than on my results, thanking Him for surrounding me with family who would be praying for me and standing with me as I took the test. The next essay was also fairly straightforward, and I finished with an extra two minutes – thank You, Lord.
The rest of the test was filled with prayer before and during each section, and at times of frustration or confusion, I felt encouraged when I thought about the blessing that existed in having a praying family. Eventually, I finished the test, got my scores, and walked out. I was really satisfied with my scores, and I found that my heart was full of praise; as I started my car, the song that was playing on the radio was “10,000 Reasons,” and I thought it couldn’t have been more fitting. However, as I listened to the song and sang along, I began to realize that so much of the day had been in God’s hands from the beginning. I also realized how much bargaining I had done with God prior to the test, and felt deeply that I was, once again, not given what I deserved. I didn’t deserve the scores I had gotten because I really hadn’t worked that hard. I didn’t deserve the mercy that was evident – and that I was mindful of – throughout the day. And yet, God was pleased to guide me along the path He had for me. In the depth of my embarrassed acceptance of God’s mercy, I found myself making new promises that I wouldn’t keep, and I realized that God had mercy not because of what I had done, but because His love was and is for who I am. Thank You, Lord, for loving me despite myself and for being faithful in every season of my life.