REST IN HIS PRESENCE
November 26, 2019
Prayer: Lord, I thank you today for your presence and the rest it promises. Amen.
Scripture: And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33: 14, KJV
When a verbal dispute broke out between two of my female students in our Freshman Composition course, I remained calm. When the verbiage nearly escalated to physical, I still remained calm and de-escalated their intense verbal exchange. In doing so, I had to mind the safety of not only myself, but the other students in the course as well. I could not, however, have done either without the presence of the Lord with me in my classroom.
In Exodus 33, Moses communicated with the Spirit of the Lord informing Him that if His presence did not accompany him, he did not want to go. Moses understood the sovereignty, power, omnipotence, and provision the Lord’s Spirit brought with Him. When instructed to journey into the land of milk and honey, the Lord informed Moses He would not accompany them [Moses and the Israelites] for he was displeased with their lack of obedience. Grieved, Moses communicated with the Lord at the Tent of Meeting informing Him that only His presence distinguishes them from others and indicates His pleasure in His people. Without His presence, he [Moses] did not want to take this journey—vv. 14-15. Because Moses carried the Spirit of the Lord inside of Him by way of an active relationship, he was able to talk with the Lord, making a case for His presence to go along with them on their journey. He knew that without it, there would be no rest (v.14), protection (v. 2), or mercy and compassion (v. 19).
Like Moses, the Lord extends an opportunity for educators to also have an active relationship with Him through prayer. When prayer is absent from our lives, or if it becomes an afterthought, we begin to see the negative effects of neglecting prayer. Our days may not operate as smoothly as we anticipate; conversations and interactions may be more difficult. Teaching may be more strenuous or we may not resolve conflict as effectively. Yet, when we can commune with him through prayer, we receive instructions, strategy, insight, knowledge, and help. We become emboldened and courageous to teach because we know He is with us. Prayer reminds us who is in charge of our lives; who has complete control; and to whom we are accountable.
Developing and maintaining a relationship with the Lord through prayer reminds you of whose presence you need to accompany you daily. We can invite the Lord’s presence to journey with us throughout our teaching day. When we rely on our human ability and strength, our efforts to teach can be impeded by the smallest of infractions. But when we know whose presence is with us, we can face the challenges of this school year boldly. Rest in His presence.
Copyright Stacey D. Reed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve enjoyed this devotion, Stacey’s book, Morning Musings: Weekly Encouragement for the Educator’s Soul is available for purchase here.