I started reading my text book for the stats class I am taking. I kid you not—this is what it says:
We wanted to write a brief manual for our students. And we started to do this. We soon realized, however, that it did not seem possible to write a brief exposition of multiple regression analysis that students would understand. We then decided to write a book. (Pedhazur, 1997)
This precedes 1028 pages of numbers and words that will define my life for the next semester.
I know I am stressed because I can feel it in my temples, jaw and neck. I presume this means I am clenching my teeth. I know I am stressed because I have a persistent ache in my shoulders that sometimes travels down my arms to my fingertips and cascades down my back. I know I am stressed because I have a headache all the time.
And I know why I am stressed.
Sure, it is true that I am in way over my head in this stats class. It is also true that I have a stressful semester as I am teaching two new classes with a total of 85 students. And I am equally sure that a complete change of routine – even moving to a new office, increases stress; at least until I get used to things.
But, that is not why I am stressed.
I am stressed because I think I am in control and that makes me panic. But, I am not in control, God is.
God loves me, no matter what. He doesn't ask me to do anything to earn that love. He just loves me, because He is God; He is my creator; He is my Savior; He is my Comforter.
And He knows about multiple regression analysis because He created it.
He doesn't look at me and shake His head. He doesn't grumble to Himself "If only she would trust me. It's not like I haven't solved problems for her before. Will she ever learn?"
He doesn't do this. Instead He loves me, forgives me, comforts me.
Because of this all encompassing agape love, He teaches me to trust.
If it is God's will, I will pass this class. If I can get my teeth to stop clenching I might even learn something. If it is not God's will for me to pass, He will bring good out of it.
I have seen Him do it before; He will do it again and again and again.
Because He loves me.
Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17: 7-8