January 29, 2020
Prayer: Dear God, Please help me to be sensitive to those around me who are having a difficult time and need some encouragement. Please show me who You would have me encourage.
Scripture: The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle…They forgot what He had done. Psalms 78:9, 11a NLT
Jennifer’s college days were over and she looked forward to this first grade—her first class. She came to school every day for a week before she was required, in order to prepare her classroom and her materials for the year. You could see her excitement about teaching, and her eagerness to meet her students. But, things did not go as Jennifer had expected. The difficult class assigned to her had two extremely volatile students. She made a valiant effort, got support from other staff members and the principal, herself also new at the school, but things were still tough, no doubt about it.
No one blamed her for not keeping things together in that room. She just plain had a difficult group, and everyone understood that. Perhaps some of the children should have been moved to other classrooms, but strict procedures kept the principal from doing that. This new principal begged and cajoled her when Jennifer came in one morning near the beginning of the school year stating her decision to leave teaching! To my knowledge, she never tried again.
How sad that casualties like this happen to potentially good teachers. Hopefully, Christian beginning teachers show a bit more tenacity, because God promises to arm us for any battle that He brings our way. We don’t know His purposes when He leaves us with a class that we can’t seem to handle. As in Job’s case, God may have a secret reason for the trial we encounter. Perhaps, like the people of Israel, He leaves circumstances as they are to test us. Judges 3:2 records, He did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience.
As Christian teachers, we have an obligation to help those around us who struggle and even consider throwing in the towel. But when the trials come to us, we can trust God to help us through them, and to fulfill His own purposes, whether we know what they are or not.
Copyright Shirley Wilson. Email firstname.lastname@example.org