I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things.

Alma 26:12

I have had a number of experiences where I feel like the Lord has blessed me with strength beyond my own, but the one that stands out most in my mind is an experience that happened to me my last semester in college. I discovered at the end of my junior year that I only needed 21 more credits to graduate. Since I was in the habit of taking 18 credits a semester, I knew that I could complete those credits within a semester if I wanted to. My first reaction was to continue with my plans and stretch my education out another full year. However, a few days later, while talking with my roommate about my options, my heart burned within me and I knew that the Lord wanted me to graduate as soon as possible.

Without really understanding why, I chose to obey. I made last minute arrangements to stay the summer and graduate in August. The miracles I witnessed that summer still amaze me to this day. The financial aid department agreed to give me my half-tuition scholarship even though I had missed the application deadline. I discovered that God must have been guiding my course selection for years because the classes that I took that summer were miraculously easy. I was able to take all the courses I needed (an amount well above normal–I had to get special permission), work 20 hours a week, have more fun than I ever had while at college and still get all A’s. I do not tell this story to boast in my own abilities. I take little credit for what happened that semester. God blessed me with abilities beyond my own because I was following his will.

To be honest, I still don’t understand why the Lord wanted me to graduate then. I can’t point to any specific event in my life where the timing of my education seemed important. However, I am very grateful for that experience because it has essentially become a serpent of brass (Numbers 21:8-9) for me. When I can look back on that experience, I feel my faith grown and I am saved one more time from doubt and discouragement. Sometimes, I lose hope because of my weaknesses and my inability to overcome them as fast as I want to. Remembering that time in my life helps remind me that the Lord has the ability of giving me strength beyond my own, but He does this according to His will, when He wants it to happen.