May 10, 2022
A Different Kind of Graduation
Holley Gerth

Today’s Truth

“Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you” (Deuteronomy 15:15 CSB).

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The evening sky is like a girl in a prom dress, swirls of purple and pink with thin clouds like lace. My husband Mark and I take our seats alongside family members in an outdoor stadium, the metal bench, unmerciful beneath us. We’ve come to this same spot in years past to watch a series of nieces and nephews graduate. I’ve almost memorized the proceedings.

There will be a welcome speech by a school official. Then the national anthem. The valedictorian giving remarks. Diplomas passed out. Caps tossed in the air as we all cheer, partly in congratulations and also because the long ceremony is over. Graduations are not the most entertaining of events. Yet we still do them, year after year, generation after generation.

I have plenty of time to consider why this is so as evening closes in and I watch the sky darken, filling with stars like sequins. Just beyond the stadium is a very old graveyard with moss covered headstones.

I realize that we have graduations because life is short and it matters that we mark the milestones, the passage of time. Yet it seems once we finish school we struggle to do so. Adulthood becomes a blur of calendar pages, work days and endless loads of laundry. I wonder, “What have I graduated from lately?” In other words, “What have I learned? How have I grown? Have I remembered to pause and celebrate what God has done in my life?”

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The people of God “graduated” from Egypt. In other words, they came out of a place of bondage and into one of freedom, out of despair and into hope, out of defeat and into victory. I think about lies I used to believe that no longer have power over me and habits I have been able to leave behind. I can see where I’ve taken steps of faith and God has guided me into new territory. These are all little graduations to me.

I imagine when you look at your life, you can see little graduations too. I’m not talking only about big accomplishments or grand changes. Instead, I’m encouraging all of us to celebrate the small and simple, the ordinary and unnoticed, the hidden, faithful hand of God that has brought us to where we are today.

Thankfully, we don’t need to put on a cap and gown. We don’t have to walk across a stage. We’ll be spared standing in a long line waiting for our name to be called. Instead, we can simply pause wherever we are right now and do what Moses invited God’s people to so long ago. We can remember. We can celebrate. We can thank God that with Him we continue to learn, to grow, to graduate.

Dear God, I’m pausing today to reflect on where I’ve been and what You have brought me through. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Lord. Thank You for guiding me with love and care through every season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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