by Michelle Hodges
Three weeks ago, I started a new online class through Mississippi State. I entered this semester thinking this one class would be super easy and require the minimum amount of my time. After all, it’s only English Composition II, a freshman level class. This should be a breeze…
Now that I’m three weeks in, I can tell you that all of those assumptions were completely false. This class is hard. This class is making me think. This class is taking up huge amounts of time. This class is giving me nightmares. This class has made me cry. This is the first time since I restarted my education journey that I’ve had less than a perfect grade. Friends, IT’S COMP II !!! I am about lose my mind over a class that isn’t even major specific!
But, let’s get to the real reason I want to tell you about my newest class. I had an assignment last week that caused just a little bit more anxiety than I had anticipated. What was supposed to be a class discussion on a particular person in the headlines became a discussion about truth. More specifically, the question posed to the class was how did this person use objective truth in promoting their ideas? My professor supplied us with a definition of truth from a famed astrophysicist. This person claims that “an objective truth is something that is true whether or not you believe in it”. He then went on to talk about how there are certain truths for each individual, like personal and political truths, but the only truth that doesn’t change from one person to another is an objective truth.
As you have probably figured out, this astrophysicist believes that science is the only form of objective truth. He clearly stated that “science is true no matter what”. Now, I’m not here to debate scientific truths. I saw plenty of that last week in our class discussions. My point is to tell you that all this talk and discussion about different truths had me rattled. I am so used to being around people who think like I do. I’m so used to constantly being reminded and poured into by my friends and my church family that this instance of being submerged in a group of people who seemingly couldn’t agree on what or where truth is shocked me. I realize that’s naïve in today’s world. I wish I could tell you that I boldly entered that conversation proclaiming the Gospel truth as the only truth worth knowing, but that’s not what happened. What actually happened is that I refused to comment on truth at all, and instead only addressed the one, original question posed at the beginning of the week. I did not put any of myself in that assignment, I only put what I thought my professor would want to hear as it pertained to the original subject.
I didn’t sleep well that night. I worried about my grade, I worried about the grammar of my discussion, I worried about feeling insecure about truth, and I worried that I failed my God in a moment that should have been easy to spread His word. I found myself reaching for the only truth I know. In my shortcomings and anxiety, I was desperate for the truth of my eternal and unchanging God. I found myself in Isaiah 40, the verses I had already claimed as my theme for the year. It was January 17 and already I’d forgotten the truth I was determined to lean into this year:
“28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is an everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.”
I read these verses over and over. Tears filled my eyes as my heart rate finally slowed. Here was my truth. Here was my constant. Here was my hope. When I am faint, when I am weary, when I doubt, and when I fail, He does not! It is so easy to ridicule and scoff at the Israelites and their inability to remember. We scold Peter and claim we would never deny Jesus if given the chance, but here I am, once again, doing exactly that. Every single day is a fight to remember this truth and to rest in it when the world wants to convince me otherwise. Every day brings a new opportunity to confess all the times I’ve denied Him and refused to proclaim His truth. So, friends, I’ll leave you with this; my reading from Sunday evening. Let’s remember together and remind each other of the only truth that matters.
Hebrews 13:8-9 “8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefitted those devoted to them.”