I’m American, but I spent my teenage years on an island in the Indian Ocean called La Réunion. If you want to look it up, make sure you have a good map. It’s near Madagascar, but much smaller. La Réunion is a French island, and I went to a French high school.
In French schools, there is no graduation. Instead, there’s a really big test called the BAC. By “really big,” I mean about seven hours a day for two weeks straight. A French student’s entire future rides on this test. It can shut doors as fast as it can open them. Students' scores are published in the newspaper. To say it is a stressful experience is an understatement.
I took the BAC for fun.
My French friends are ready to strangle me for writing those last two words, but I just wasn’t stressed. Want to know why?
I’m not French.
A month after I took the BAC, I was coming back to the United States. I already had a college acceptance letter sitting at home. I had scholarships. I had plane tickets. My parents didn’t care if I even passed.
Being a citizen of another country made a world of difference.
Philippians 3:20 says: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
Are you in the middle of a test or a trial right now? What’s stressful in your life?
Sometimes, as Christians, we forget that we’re not citizens of this earth. We don’t have the same values, the same priorities, the same plans. We don’t have to live up to others’ expectations. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t even have to pass.
You don’t have to look like what the world says is beautiful. You don’t have to have a bank account that reflects what the world calls success. You don’t have to have the perfect house, the perfect marriage, the perfect children, the perfect thing to say at all times. Forget perfect. You don’t even have to have a passing score.
If your Savior is Jesus (if He's not or you're not sure, please click here), don’t lose sight of the fact that you already have an acceptance letter into His kingdom. You have a full scholarship. He even bought the plane tickets. You are welcome whether you pass this test or not.
Want to share how Jesus has helped you handle stress? Leave a comment below.
Do you know someone who needs to hear this right now? Please share it with them!
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Pam Klingensmith (Thursday, 08 September 2016 19:26)
Great devotion! Concise and informative, and a great reminder that these trials of this world are just that - trials of THIS world. Just as our bodies pass from this world, so does stress. Neither is permanent. As I experienced extreme personal stress last year and thought I was such a failure, God increased my joy! I know, such a contrast, but true. The more stress I endured, the more joy He assured. Joy is not temporary or of this world. Joy is permanent and from God and I didn't have to pass a test to get it!
Lana (Thursday, 08 September 2016 18:42)
Thank you this was really encouraging!