Days ago, I had a huge lab examination for anatomy class. Like any typical college student I procrastinated. You would think after four years I would learn. Nah, it obviously makes life more exciting. However, it was about 1 in the morning and I was exhausted. I had stayed up really REALLY late almost every night the week before and gotten up really REALLY early.
Anyway, at that point I still had a lot to memorize for anatomy, but I knew I could not absorb anything. I was dead tired. I laid down in my bed and set my alarm to 5:30am.
I had no choice. Wake up or do bad on the test. As a pre-med student, I would wake up. However, because I had gotten so little sleep I knew waking up would be nearly impossible. I would be fighting a battle against my flesh that I was not expecting to win. Getting up when you are exhausted is like going into a battle and the only weapon to your name is a pool noodle. I am sure you will confuse the enemy, but after a few seconds you are toast.
So, I sat in bed and thought, “I can’t do this. Only God can do this.”
I prayed fervently for a few minutes asking God to help me get up on time the next morning. I prayed that God give me the strength and courage to get out of bed and tackle the day. Towards the end of my prayer, I fell asleep.
The next morning I woke up. I had forgotten of my prayer the night before. What time was it? I felt so great. Was I supposed to get up early? All of the “just woke up” thoughts were flooding my mind. I was delirious. Quickly, I sat in bed thinking. Surely I missed my alarm and got a great (but way to long) night of sleep. Now, how am I supposed to learn all this material in such a short time?
My thoughts were immediately interrupted by the sound of my alarm.
What was going on?
I jumped out of bed to shut it off and looked at the alarm.
I had woken up a minute before the alarm went off. I felt way to amazing. It was unreal.
When I was in the shower I continued to think about how refreshed I felt.
I never. ever. ever. felt that great. My pool noodle this morning had turned into excalibur.
Immediately, I remembered my prayer from the night.
“Wow,” I thought. “God is so good!”
I then had a smile on my face that nothing was going to take away.
God is always with me.
God hears my prayers.
God He….He listens.
However, a few seconds later a few doubts started roaring in my mind.
The human body can do crazy things.
Maybe, you just trained yourself to wake up at that time.
Maybe, you just weren’t that tired.
Maybe, you ended your sleep cycle at the perfect time.
Maybe, it was a coincidence.
The smile that was on my face began to fade. Why was I having these doubts?
This experience reminded me that it is not about having the doubts but if we listen to them. If we treat them as important.
I remember reading a quote from St. Pio. He discussed the idea of having thoughts as being at a train station. Everyone is going to see the doubts and fears like trains at a train station. However, the difference is whether or not you hop on the train.
Friends, today I encourage you to understand that doubts are not a defect in your faith. We will all have them. However, it is important to decide not to hop on the trains but rather remain in the train station. One day a train will come that will lead us to paradise.
In conclusion, it is very easy to discount the workings of our Creator. The devil is active in the world trying to worry us and lead us away from Christ with doubts and deception. It is important to remember that the way in which we look at a situation determines everything. Faith is not going to be easy. Sometimes, it may feel like all we have is a pool noodle to fight against the doubts we have about ourselves.
I remind you that what you may see as a pool noodle may very well be an excalibur in disguise.