In a few weeks, I will begin paying off my student loans. When I check my account and see the numbers lined up, reminding me how much I took out to pay for my education and how much I have to pay off, it dismays me. I’ve written before of my fear that perhaps my years and money spent on college were in vain, and it is a fear I continue to face. Most days I can conclude that, yes, it was worth it, but there are always moments of doubt. Very, very slowly, I will whittle away at those numbers reminding me of the price behind my education and memories.
So what would it feel like if suddenly, all my debt was gone?
Each individual loan, reduced to nothing.
Remaining Balance: $0.00
In an instant.
I’d likely cry. Perhaps be inconsolable with relief and elation, imagining what life could now look like without the burdensome load of debt I have been carrying. There would be so much more I could do, free of these financial bonds. I could move out of my parents’ house, visit friends spread around the globe, save for unforeseen expenditures, and, I hope, begin to cultivate a more generous lifestyle.
What a gift it would be.
About a month ago, we sang the song “Jesus Paid It All” in church. The refrain goes like this:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
I’ve grown up singing the song once in a while, and have always found the words to be nice and the melody enjoyable.
But it takes on a new meaning when I am facing student loan payments, now only weeks away from being due.
Jesus will not be paying off my loans, but he has paid off something much greater than money.
The terminology we use to talk about finances shares terms with Christianity. Until now, and for a few more weeks, I have been in a “grace period.” When grace ends, my debts must be paid.
If my sins were turned into actual, monetary debt, I’d never begin to cover it. No matter how many hours a week I worked for the rest of my life, the pile would only continue to grow.
Fortunately, the grace of Christianity is vastly unlike the grace of financial institutions. It is grace that does not end, grace that knows no bounds, grace that overwhelms.
Grace that pays all my debts, even though I do not deserve it.
I took out loans to help get me through college; I never thought they’d teach me about Jesus.
Til next time…
p.s. Thoughts? Leave a comment.
Listen to the song: