“He will not withhold any good thing from you.”
My Dad texted me the words after I told him about a job application that closed before I could complete it. It was second time that had happened, and I was incredibly frustrated that I had spent hours answering questions and editing my résumé only to have it go to waste. But his text reminded me that if those jobs were going to be the best thing for me, God would not have kept them from me.
These are sometimes hard words to swallow—they can seem hollow and cliché—but they are true. God is good. He is wise. He loves us. And he will not withhold any good thing. That’s not the prosperity gospel: the Bible doesn’t tell us that God will not withhold riches or health or an easy life. But he will not keep from us anything that will carry out his will in us or through us.
As I look back on my college career, I think these words would have been valuable to me. There are so many things to do during college. There are friends to make, classes to take, positions to hold, weekends to travel, work-studies, internships, clubs, conferences, choirs, bands, intramurals, sports. All the time you feel pulled in different directions: this experience will look good on your résumé, this opportunity will end after college, you need to focus on your academics, you need to invest in the people around you.
At times you feel that you have so much on your plate that you can never get it all done and that you’ve invested in too much.
And then there are the times you feel that you haven’t done enough, that each semester is flying by and with it missed opportunities that you’ll never get a chance at again. You wonder how you’ve spent the past few years because it feels like you haven’t accomplished anything.
My advice? Remember what we are told: "The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11b).
There are many many great things to do in college, academic and otherwise. But our primary goal isn’t to have a good time or even to learn all the skills needed to go into the workforce—it’s to grow in our obedience and service to the Lord as he carries out his will on earth. When faced with decisions about how to spend our time, it sometimes feels like no matter what we do we are going to miss out on something. But here’s the good news: if we continually seek the Lord, he will never withhold any good thing from us! In some ways, we don’t even have to worry about it! In fact, even when we are unfaithful, God is faithful and uses events and people to bring us back to himself.
So, be encouraged! We can rest in these words and know that when we are seeking to follow the Lord, he won’t let an opportunity go by that we should have taken.