I Was Physically and Mentally Exhausted Preparing for the Exam
“Class, exams are around the corner. Seize the time to review. …”
The countdown to the exam had begun. All of my classmates buried their heads in their books preparing for the exam. I couldn’t help but feel nervous in this atmosphere.
My grades hadn’t been very good, and the grade for this exam was directly related to whether I could enter a good university, and whether I could find a good job, so I was very stressed out and wanted to quickly review for the exam. However, as the vice-president of the student council, I was in charge of many events. After I finished everything in school, it would already be 6 p.m., and I still had to look after my grandmother after that. I would only reach home around 10 p.m. In order to have more time to review, I stayed up until 2 to 3 a.m. and I still had to wake up at 6 a.m. for school. Because of overworking, I couldn’t focus during class and would often doze off. But I didn’t really have any other choice, since no pain, no gain. The only way for me to get good grades was to do all that I could to review for the exam.
Time flew, the exam was getting closer and closer, I also picked up my pace. Because of the pressure from the exam, and burning the midnight oil, I wasn’t able to have meals regularly and sleep well, thus my eyelids swelled, I also started to experience headache, dizziness, absent-mindedness. I dozed off in class, I became hot-tempered, and I was very exhausted. I was also very irritated because I felt that preparing for exam was really so tiring and unbearable. Sometimes I really wanted to just give up and not sit for the exam. But I wasn’t resigned, so I had to grit my teeth and bear it.
Gradually, I didn’t attend gatherings regularly. For the one-hour gathering on Saturday, I would go offline early. I also sent a message to the sister that I had to review for the exam and couldn’t guarantee that I could attend every gathering. After the sister learned about my situation, she replied, “Gathering is the path to maintain a normal relationship with God. Only after we have a normal relationship with God, can we gain God’s care and protection, can we be led by God in our studies and life. We have to know that God controls everything, rules and arranges everything in our life. When we encounter difficulties, we should come before God and pray; seek the truth we have to practice. Only in this way can we gain God’s blessings.” She also sent me some God’s words, but I didn’t read them because I was too busy. Afterward, my mother called me, she also reminded me that I should pray and draw close to God facing difficulties, and that I should have.
Thinking of the sister’s and my mom’s exhortations, I was willing to entrust the exam to God. However, when I realized that my classmates had almost finished reviewing, but I still had a lot to review, my heart was in a turmoil, and I was flustered. I thought, “My classmates have already finished reviewing, but I still have so much to work on. What should I do? If I can’t finish reviewing, I surely won’t get good grades. No, I can’t let that happen! I must memorize the materials. Only in this way can I feel secure during the exam.” Then, I began again to live the life of burning the midnight oil.
When I Relied on God, Everything Became So Easy
One day, I felt like I was going to collapse, so I called my mom, “Mom, my exams are coming up, but I still have a lot more to review. History is the subject that I’m most afraid of, and it is also the toughest one. I have to stay up late every night to review for it, and I will have headache the next day. I’m so depressed….” After hearing what I said, my mom, in sorrow, asked me if I had prayed to God. At that moment, I felt guilty because I forgot to pray to God under the exam pressure. Then, she sent me a passage of God’s words, “Since the creation of the world I have begun to predestine and select this group of people, namely, you today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly.” She fellowshiped, “From God’s words we can see that since the day we arrive in this world, God has already arranged our fates. God has the final say on how our future will be and what kind of work we will do. God is the Creator, the arrangement God has made for us is the most suitable for us. We should’s sovereignty, learn to rely on God and submit to God. All we need is to do the things we should do, and that’s enough. If we practice in this way, our heart will also be at ease and very calm.”
After reading God’s words and hearing my mom’s fellowship, I realized that although I believe in God, I had no true knowledge of God’s sovereignty. I had always believed that a good diploma would get me a good job and a good future. So I relied on my own efforts and seized every minute and second to study. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I stayed up late at night, even if I had a bad headache I would still continue. Only now did I see that all of my viewpoints are false. What kind of work I will do in the future has been arranged by God, diploma can’t determine my future, much less change my fate. What I should do is to entrust my exams to God and do my own part to cooperate with God.
My mom then sent me another passage of God’s words, “You must have faith that everything is in God’s hands, and that humans are merely coordinating with Him. If you are sincere, God will see it and He will open up all paths for you, making difficulties no longer difficult. You must be confident in this. Therefore, you needn’t worry about anything. As long as you use all your strength and use all your heart….” God’s words gave me faith and strength, and also showed me the way to practice. I realized what I needed to do was to try my best to review for the exam, but most importantly, I should have faith in God. If I couldn’t do something, I should rely on God to get through it. I thought back to how I had little faith in God, so when I saw that my classmates had finished reviewing while I still had a lot left, I panicked. I no longer had place for God my heart, I even put God’s sovereignty to the back of mind. I stopped attending gatherings, I only thought about using all my time to review for the exam. As a result, I was exhausted physically and mentally. From God’s words I understood that I need to maintain a normal relationship with God, and just do all I can for my studies. I believe that if I cooperate with God that way, God will also open up a way for me.
My mom also told me that I had to learn to manage my time. I shouldn’t intentionally stay up late at night to review, because abnormal routine will harm my health. In addition, if my body is too tired, my mind won’t be clear. I totally agree with what my mom said. I thought of how, during the exam period, I often burned the midnight oil, and studied very hard. I even messed up my biological clock. I was feeling dizzy all day and very tensed up, and nothing was going into my head. Then, I came up with a timetable. I set a time each day for reviewing and lived normal church life. When I practiced in this way, I felt much more relaxed, and I could review for the exam more effectively than before.
Encountering an Unexpected Incident, I Prayed to God for Help
The History exam was finally here. Before stepping into the exam hall, I was a little nervous. I remembered that my mom had told me to rely on and look to God more, I prayed to God, “Oh God! I’m going to sit for the exam now. I entrust everything to You. I have already done my best reviewing. I hope you can guide me through the exam.”
After praying, I took a deep breath and went into the exam hall. I found my seat and sat down. I flipped open the exam paper and started answering the questions. I was able to answer the first few questions smoothly. However, as I continued, I became more and more uncertain about my answers. Thinking that the questions would get tougher and tougher, I was very nervous. It seemed like I forgotten everything I had reviewed. At that moment, my mind was blank. I thought to myself, “The History exam is quite important, even if I pass all my other exams, if I fail the History exam, I will not be able to get into a good university. What should I do?” My palms started sweating. I looked at several questions but was able to answer none of them. My memory was also fragmentary, and I changed my answers countless times. Out of desperation, I paused trying to calm myself down. Then, I remembered that my mom told me to pray to, rely on, and look to God when facing difficulties. As I was about to pray, I remembered God’s words saying, “When someone’s heart stirs and they have this thought: ‘Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative,’ does God know about it? When these thoughts arise in people, are their hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them” (“Believers First Need to See Through the Evil Trends of the World”). I, nervous and helpless, seemed to catch a glimpse of hope. I thought, “Yes! Although I’m not able to answer these questions and don’t know what to do, and am weak and helpless right now, if I truly rely on God, God will be with me, give me faith, and guide me through the rest of the exam.” Thinking of this, I felt much calmer, not so frantic. I prayed to God, “Oh God! Despite the fact that I reviewed a lot of things, I can’t quite remember anything. But I’m willing to rely on You, submit to this environment. I will not be flustered and discouraged. I ask that you give me wisdom and confidence to face this exam, and calm my heart. No matter what my exam score will be, I’m willing to face it calmly.”
After praying, I took a deep breath and continued to answer the questions. Wonderfully, when I was calm, I was able to remember some of what I had reviewed a few days ago. Although I couldn’t remember all of them, it still gave me an idea on how to answer the questions, and I was able to choose the correct answer. When I finished answering all the questions, I felt that everything was relaxed and easy relying on God. Thank God.
This exam also made me feel, and His wonderful guidance and blessings. I felt that our heart and spirit are indeed held in the hands of God. I also understood why my mom kept asking me to learn to rely on God and entrust everything to God, because God is always by our side, rules and arranges our everything. As long as we are willing to entrust everything to God, we will be able to see God’s wonderful deeds.
Good Results, Special Gains
After a few months, the results were finally out. Surprisingly, although I didn’t do well for Science, I got full marks and passed all my other subjects. This outcome was out of my expectations. I knew that this was all thanks to God’s guidance and was all God’s deeds.
Only after the exams were over did I learn that my notions, such as, “Human effort is the decisive factor,” “no pain, no gain,” and that only by relying on my own effort can I achieve the result I want, come from Satan. Satan instills these mistaken viewpoints in us to make us deny God’s sovereignty, and not obey God. However, I was awakened through this experience: God holds sovereignty over all things. When encountering difficulties, if we learn to rely on and look to God, use our hearts to experience God’s words, we will see God’s deeds, feel that God is guiding us every day. Thank God!
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