But AFLBS points us to the one who is perfect.
By Chanel Pederson
AS A FRESH-OUT-OF-HIGH-SCHOOL South Dakota girl moving to Bible school last year, I believe I almost subconsciously expected that life here would be perfect and peachy-keen all of the time. I pictured Bible school as an arrival point, as if one would graduate from high school and then have made it to a new, perfect stage of life known as the AFLBS years. However, upon moving into the dorms and starting classes, I was suddenly hit with the fact that I really hadn’t arrived. On the contrary, life outside of my family’s constant supervision and the safety of my hometown seemed constantly to remind me of my own imperfections, and of just how far I really had left to go.
Bible school is an easy place to make one’s life look perfect to the outside world, but that’s far from being true. Although my time at Bible school thus far has been the most remarkable and rewarding experience of my life, it has also been one of the hardest. Newsflash: despite popular belief, all Bible school students do struggle. Bible schoolers turn in assignments late on occasion, go through breakups, and struggle against the flesh. In short, we mess up. We make mistakes. We are far from arriving at any sort of perfection or higher level of spirituality. But, thankfully, that’s not the end of the story.
At Bible school the solution to all of these struggles and problems is presented. In every class period, chapel service, and conversation with friends, the gospel is proclaimed with boldness and diligence. The Word is held as the highest level of authority. Grace is proclaimed and spoken of in each and every class. The law confronts us with our own imperfections and failures, and the gospel draws us closer to the Savior Who dresses us in His robes of righteousness. It’s an amazing place where people come from all corners of the earth—bringing their struggles and imperfections—to live amongst each other as the body of Christ.
And that, my friends, is the beauty of the body of Christ—the fact that we can be imperfect together, and yet constantly point each other to the One Who alone is perfect. Not one of us is perfect; in truth, we never will be on this side of eternity. Yet, we are privileged to walk alongside each other for a short time, encouraging and strengthening one another, as iron sharpens iron. It is this foundation in Christ that makes our classes more meaningful and our fellowship sweeter.
This foundation will follow us wherever we go, into whatever vocations the Lord may call us. Some from our student body will be pastors, others missionaries, some doctors, engineers, nurses, musicians, farmers, businessmen, teachers, stay-at-home moms … and these are only the beginning. The foundation established here will always hold true, for, as we read in Joshua, “not one word of all the good promises that the LORD makes will fail; they all come to pass” (21:45). Because of this foundation in the Word of God, I know we will be ready. Although Bible school is far from perfect, it points us to the One Who is. And, when it comes to facing a future in this crazy world, that is the only preparation one could really ever need.
Chanel Peterson, AFLBS senior, is a member of Abiding Savior Free Lutheran, Sioux Falls, S.D.
This article first appeared in Kinship Magazine, Winter 2018 Edition.