Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8: 23-27

“How can I find peace when there is a storm stirring the waves to devour me? Doesn’t our Lord care?” I thought as I was reflecting on the disciples’ reaction. Although it is a short story, it bears much wisdom.

Expectation vs. Reality

Ever since I became a Christian on a U.S. campus, I found my real passion — passion for Christ. I read scriptures every day, I pray in all kinds of situations, and I talk to God all of the time. It’s as though I found the living water and rejoice in God’s love and presence. Although there have been some struggles and bruises in my life, I can still find his peace. Many times, I think that I’m brave and strong enough to face any challenge, but truth is, I’m not. I’ve never been strong, but am weak all the time. It is God’s grace and love that protect me and guide me through the dark valleys to the promised land.

When I started going through the Campus Renewal prayer pledge, I didn’t expect that I would go through a waiting process. I strive to not focus on my own life struggles and persevere in prayer, but sometimes it is still easy to look at the waves in my life and doubt my path. I know God is training me to have more faith in Him and trust Him more.

Waiting on God for this 24/7 prayer house for my campus that I’ve been praying for is stretching. I know it’s not something I can do, and I realize it takes time to learn how to surrender all aspects of life to God. Only the reminder that God is with me cheers me up while I’m waiting. 

All Campus Worship

Two weeks ago we had all campus worship at the University of Illinois. The speaker gave a talk about perseverance. He shared about his near forty years of serving experiences and asked us the question,“What will you do when you graduate and go to a place without a solid church around or good fellowship to join? Will you fall back?” He gave a sermon about the good soil and the crop of the seed, and challenged each of us to persevere well in our walks with Lord. We then joined in united prayer, asking God to give us pure hearts and steadfast spirits.

I was encouraged by the sermon and our time in prayer. What captured my attention most though, was the fact that he mentioned that our campus was united before my generation. “They were united before!” I thought, “Why can’t we also be united?” I hope and pray that our generation and even generations after us will be united on this campus. But how?

Unity of Generations Past

Last week, I was once more amazed by good news from my friend, Katie. She just learned that our university once had a prayer house. Her church was the one that opened the space for the prayer house to exist. Also, two years ago, students from over thirty ministries joined together to pray for revival on our campus every week. After those students graduated, however, it died down. Katie’s pastor was one of the organizers of that student prayer group and was disappointed that it stopped.

Although this was not completely good news, I was so excited that I almost jumped out of my chair! I asked God why I hadn’t found out earlier, so that I could become connected with Katie’s pastor or someone else who used to organize united prayer events. Again though, He reminded me to wait for Him.

Realizing the First Step

Later, when I was praying again for a 24/7 prayer house, I was reminded that the key to revival is not a prayer house or an event. The entire campus needed to be ready.

So I knew what I needed to do — I read my Campus Renewal individual prayer guide and started my prayer cycle again. 

jane_xue yangXue (Jane) Yang is a graduate student studying Human Resource Development at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also serves as a student leader for International Christian Fellowship, a ministry of InterVasity, on her campus.