He came into the restaurant without his usual smile and the twinkle in his eye. I knew immediately that he was down. We spoke of class, of family, of mutual friends before we finally got to the burden and he opened up.
“I am nothing. I am a failure. I have disappointed many people. I am embarrassed. I do not feel good inside of myself”, he said as tears welled in his eyes. “My mom tells me every day that I am her only hope. And now, without a great score I will have to return to my country as a failure”.
These are the words from an international Scholar attending the University of Alabama; he is one who excelled and traveled to the US for higher education. There are millions of others who did not achieve enough to come to the US to study. But this one has earned a Master’s degree, with another Master’s degree to be completed in December. He is also a PhD candidate. And yet, his words of inadequacy haunt me and teach me.
This young man of twenty-five knows Jesus as His Saviour. He met Him while studying here. He is struggling to piece his life together from the world from which he came, a world of condemnation to a world filled with hope, with Jesus. His mom has no basis for hope; she has never met a Christ follower. She has never heard the story of redemption except through her only son, this student. He carries the weight of success for his family, of achievement, of returning to improve their life situation. It is indeed a heavy, heavy burden.
I, too, have said these same words. “I am nothing. I am a failure. I have disappointed many people. I am embarrassed. I do not feel good inside of myself”. Lord, how I praise you that because of Your love and sacrifice, I can now proclaim: I am nothing, yes, but I am Yours. I am a failure but You reign. I have disappointed everyone but You make all things new, You redeem my broken heart.
I pray today that this student claim his inheritance from our God, the Father. Pray with me for this special scholar that he may come to a new realization of God’s unconditional love of him – not condemnation for there is NO condemnation in Christ.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2