A “Just In Time” Word From a Friend
By Stephanie Landis
“It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32).
I’m not going to lie.This is hard. The pandemic has no end in sight and numbers are once again on the rise. We have kids learning from home. We have kids learning from the school building at the same time, though it barely resembles the school building we left in March. We have kids and staff struggling with technology. We have others struggling with mental health and isolation. This is not what we signed up for. It is not the world we want for ourselves or our children. There is no doubt—2020 has been exhausting.
Yet, God is on the throne. He knew this year was going to happen, and He knows what is yet to come. His Word tells us in John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble, and He reminds us that He is our overcomer. As our workload has increased this year, I confess that I have robbed God of time in His Word. It is no wonder at times I feel stress, impatience, and a sense of foreboding. Just recently, I let down my guard and let others see that, while I am outwardly positive and encouraging, I too am struggling with all that has changed in our world. It was then that a dear friend and colleague shared Psalm 18:32 with me.
This verse is brief and to the point, and contains so much encouragement for us in our present circumstances.
1. “It is God who …”
This verse starts right out with a reminder that our focus remains on God, our All-Sufficient One (El Shaddai) and our Provider (Jehovah Jireh). By arming ourselves with the Word of God, and engaging with Him through prayer and worship, we have all we need to survive and thrive through the hardships of the day. He is with us through it all.
2. “…arms me with strength”
We can do nothing in our own strength. While we can keep striving and pushing forward for a while, we will undoubtedly run out of steam. God’s strength is freely given to us and outlasts and outmuscles anything we can muster up ourselves. In Christ, we have the strength we need to persist in hard times.
3. ‘…and makes my way perfect.”
It doesn’t say God makes us perfect or makes our lessons perfect, but He makes our way perfect. What is our way? Our way is walking alongside our Savior. As He tells us in 1 John 2:5-6, “By this we may know we are in Him; whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” I am so grateful for my dear friend who pointed me back to this truth. I pray this speaks to you as well.
You are not alone, my friend. Your fellow Christian educators are with you, and your Lord and Savior is with you as you press on to finish the race to which you have been called. God bless you!
Stephanie Landis is currently a middle school principal in Pennsylvania and has been an educator since 1992. In 2016, she completed the Learning Forward Academy experience and benefited from the rich learning opportunities and collaboration she experienced with her international colleagues. She has been a contributor to Welcome to Writing Workshop and recently completed a reading specialist cohort for administrators. When not at school, she can be found enjoying time with her family and engaging in service opportunities.