I came to Covenant three months ago knowing that the students here weren't free of the troubles and sins that plague other colleges, but that didn’t ease the heart-wrenching sadness that followed the list of specifics that Chaplain Lowe gave us during Orientation. Anxiety and depression. Self-harm. Addiction. Sexual abuse. We’ve certainly had our share of struggles.
In many ways, we are just like other colleges. Our hearts ache when others sin against us; our souls quake under the weight of our own guilt; we shrink back in fear when our circumstances call for courage. We are tormented with spiritual doubts, struggling with the mental, emotional, and social imbalances of a fallen world. We are broken.
“But,” according to the apostle Paul, we are “not crushed,” (2 Cor. 2:8). We are “perplexed, but not driven to despair.”
This, fellow Scots, is what makes Covenant College unique. It is not that we live holier lives or make better grades. It is not even that we have cool hall cultures (even though we do and that’s great.)
It is that we have hope—hope that drives us to keep living out or ordinary lives even when the tasks are demanding and the rewards few. It draws our gaze from the miseries of this life and into the light of eternity. It casts out doubts and dispels our fears.
That’s what drew me here. I caught faint glimpses of it then; now it glows. I see evidence of this hope in the little things everyday—I see it when people play the piano in the Great Hall. It’s in the prayers of our teams (go Scots!) before games. It’s in the Doxology after chapel. I see it in late night conversations at the Blink, and in those who wake up early enough to watch the break of dawn over distant mountain ranges.
Though due dates and exams loom ever before us, we believe that God uses our struggles, our failures, and our victories to prepare us for work in His kingdom. Though our sins are plentiful and our faith weak, our hope lies not in the strength of our own sincerity but in the sufficiency of Christ. This foundation does not crumble when the storms rage.
So take heart; do not lose hope. Don’t lose sight of glory God has called you to. Your sin runs deep...but Christ’s love deeper still.