Today is Moody Bible Institute’s 127th graduation commencement. It also marks two years since I walked that stage and shook the hand of Dr. Paul Nyquist (who, quite possibly, is the most muscular president of any accredited university). I find it deeply satisfying to know that God has been working through that college for over a century.

But as I think about graduations, I cannot do anything other than praise God for where I read in my daily devotion today. I read Ezra 1-7. It is a most interesting text. In fact, it is so interesting that I hope it does not leave my mind.

Here is my Facebook status in light of today’s reading and also Moody’s graduation ceremony:

“The returning exiles from Babylonian captivity rejoiced over the laying of the foundation for the temple of God in Jerusalem. There were also wisened elders and leaders who mourned because it did not compare the glory of the previous temple. Take some time to read the book of Ezra today and consider the appropriate response you should have to how you see God moving and working among His people.
Especially think of this in light of the recent college graduations of tomorrow’s church, government, and economic leaders.”

I worked every graduation from Spring 08 through Winter ’10 at Moody. I would have worked Spring 2011, but they wouldn’t let me work my own graduation. I guess it makes sense…, but as I  reminisce over each of those graduations, I must admit that I shed tears at each and every graduation over my time at Moody. I shed tears because I was watching people whom I loved receive recognition for their hard work. I shed tears because I saw people that I knew were walking with the Lord and would bring honor and praise to his name. I shed tears because I saw people who devoted their lives to serving God despite having little to zero family support. Finally, I shed tears because I saw people whom I loved that I would never see again.

Graduation is a very emotional time.

It is an emotional time because there is anxiety that lurks around every laugh or hug.

“Will I have a job?”

“Can I make it?”

“Will I ever have as close of friends again?”

The light at the end of the tunnel truly is a freight train. But God is there to pick each person up and dust them off. It hurts, but getting hit by the train does not kill you. In fact, it wakes you up from the collegiate slumber.

I want to encourage everyone to examine what they believe about God’s providential care during the transition times of life. Do you believe God’s hand is there? Can you accept seeing a new generation take steps towards replacing you?

Are you ready to take the place of a previous generation?

Transition times are when we are forced to examine life. This does not mean that we do not examine life at other times. It just means that there is clarity over what is important or not.

Existential meltdowns are acceptable.  .  . just make sure you don’t stay in that place.

Ah… I could ramble on and on about this. Mostly because I am finding that being a young adult is a continual practice in examining my heart and actions. Two very important passages are worth reading and praying over (after you read Ezra and ask yourself the former questions). Read James 4:13-17 & Philippians 4: 4-9.

God is good. All the time.