April 28, 2021
Prayer: Father, please help me to hear afresh how you feel about me personally. Amen.
Scripture: Zeph 3:17 He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3: 17 NIV
The idea for this venture had formed in me about eighteen months previously when I proposed it in a staff meeting. The scheme wasn’t exactly dismissed, but the general response was, “Great idea Graham, but it’s just too difficult to make it happen.” At the end of the meeting a colleague commiserated with me by saying how sorry they were the idea wasn’t going to become reality. I simply responded by saying, in true Hollywood hero style, “It isn’t over yet.”
Eighteen months later I was sitting in the playground of a school in Bulgaria, watching my pupils loving and serving others. These were ordinary pupils who had gone far beyond what they had believed possible. Many of them lacked confidence in themselves and their abilities, even with the simple skills they had acquired.
Despite all of this, they had overcome significant obstacles and grown in their capacity to operate in an idea which had grown in their imaginations. If I had been looking for proven numbers of pupils making a commitment to follow Jesus, I would not have found much evidence of success. What I did see, however, was a group of young people who had begun to see greater possibilities for themselves–possibilities of greater value than examination success, or the latest version of the iPhone.
As I sat there, I heard something I was not aware I had heard before. I heard the Lord say, “Thank you.” It broke me; I simply sat there and wept. I wept because I could feel His grace flooding through me and in response, my own love and gratitude overflowed back to Him.
This was not in a worship meeting, though it was worship. It was not in a church building or conference hall, it was in a very run-down playground next to a school building in desperate need of serious attention, but it was drawing the attention of Heaven at that moment. The experience was profoundly moving, and it came about because I simply wanted to do my best as a teacher.
I am certain it’s what you desire too.
If you find yourself agreeing with this, then please know that your Heavenly Father says, “Thank you.” Thank you for persevering day after day with your responsibilities because you have a desire to love your pupils continually. Thank you for going the extra mile again and again and again. Thank you for seeking the best for your pupils, their families and your colleagues whatever the difficulties and setbacks. Thank you for representing Jesus so well and for presenting His love and grace to everyone you encounter, whether you have felt like it or not. Thank you for praying for the people around you, and for wanting them to know more of the Father’s love than they do. Thank you for listening to the Spirit, and for trying to find ways to follow His lead. Thank you for doing your best, even when you didn’t believe your best was good enough.
I believe your Heavenly Father says, “Thank you, precious child.”
Adapted from the book To Infinity and Turn Left: Exploring God’s Purpose for Christian Teachers by Graham Coyle, available from Amazon. email@example.com