By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before Him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything. 1John 3:19-20 I became a Lutheran educator many moons ago for one reason. I wanted to be used by God to follow the Great Commission. I loved Jesus with my whole heart, and I wanted to make sure my students were saved. That’s it. Academics were important to me, but nothing compared to the urgency I have always felt to make sure that the children placed in my care would be in heaven. I felt this call in a big way from a pretty young age, and throughout my ministry, that strong passion to share the Gospel always remained as my motivation. For forty years, I have been obsessed with my students. I have watched them in fascination, I have prayed for them, I have worried about them, I have held them accountable, I have tried to inspire them. As the months of any given school year slowly ticked by, I would say to myself, “Oh no. I only have four months left with them.” “I am running out of time.” I always worried that there might be some Bible passage or life lesson from His Word that He would want to make sure I taught them… and what if I didn’t teach it well? What if I missed that one altogether? I also worried about mishandling classroom discipline situations or even casual conversations, thus doing more harm than good to them spiritually. Ironically, I actually felt that I was being humble when I doubted myself and worried so much. I would pray for the right words to say, for their hearts to be softened, for their ears to be opened, for the Lord to send His Holy Spirit to work saving faith in their hearts. And then I would get discouraged with myself if I felt I had not done enough or if I didn’t think they were listening to me. Humility, right? Gradually, though, the Holy Spirit has helped me realize that so often, what I was really feeling was false humility, even to the point of arrogance. I was telling myself that I was the one who needed to make the difference in their lives, even though I knew that was not even close to the truth. I placed myself as the one responsible for their relationship with their Savior .It’s embarrassing to admit.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah55:10-11 Instead of completely trusting that His Word would not return void, too often I put limits on what the KING OF KINGS could do! How ridiculous of me. Oh me, of little faith. Lord, please forgive my foolish, faithless heart. I have been guilty of not totally bowing to Your will. Too often I have let me and my ego get in the way of believing in the power of Your Word and that You are completely and utterly in control. I wanted to be used by You, but so many times I let fear overwhelm me, and I failed to let You lead–because I was so busy leading. Please remind me who I really am and who You are.
To my everlasting relief, my Savior loves me in spite of me. He died for every single one of my sins, and yes, He forgives my sins of false humility, pride, and arrogance. And when I foolishly get in His way or fall into the trap of letting fear be my god, the Almighty Lord of heaven and earth has absolutely no problem putting me in my place and continuing His reign over all. His will WILL be done because He is GOD. And I am so incredibly grateful for that!
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to His children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to their children's children.
What an astonishing, miraculous, not-enough-words-to-describe God we worship and serve!
Middle School Language Arts Teacher at Grace Christian School, Escondido, California