John 14:27 - “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (ESV)
March 2020. Our staff at Abiding Savior Lutheran was informed that the in-service scheduled for Friday March 13 was canceled due to the increasing impact of COVID-19. I breathed a sigh of relief. I’d now have a day off to sleep in a bit, plan for the next week, and get caught up on grading. The next day the governor of California announced that all schools would be closed for two weeks. Not long after, our principal sent a group message stating we were meeting Saturday morning to discuss and plan for the next two weeks. That Saturday morning, we first met together before breaking off into our departments to determine how we were going to approach the next two weeks.
Monday March 16, Abiding Savior was in class to inform the students about our plan and for them to collect all their necessary supplies, not knowing it would be the last time we would see them in school. For the next 10 weeks, we did not meet in person. Work was posted in Google Classroom, Zoom meetings were held for instruction or for individual tutoring and/or for moral support and prayer. In mid-May, the other eighth grade teacher and I went to all our student's homes and delivered Class of 2020 signs. Some of them had tears in their eyes as we were the first people other than family to see them in months.
Those weeks were difficult for them and were very difficult at times for me. Visiting our 8th families was not the only time I had tears in my eyes. It was a struggle for me to not be in person with my students. It was a struggle some days to open the Chromebook and get to work. It was a struggle working 10+ hour days on occasion. It was a struggle working and prepping six days per week. What got me through all of this was our loving, comforting and ever-present God. Through prayer and reading His Word, God reminded me, gave me, and showed me the peace that only He can provide for all. The Bible reminds us that we cannot add an hour to our life by worrying (Matthew 6:27 ESV). Matthew 28:20 reminds us that He is with us always. John 14:27 reminds us that our hearts do not need to be troubled or afraid. These reminders can come from people who God places in our lives, from devotions or sermons, and from diligently reading His Word. May God provide you the peace you need each and every day.
Dear God, thank you for always being there for us. Thank you for providing the peace that only you can provide in our lives. Remind us that we do not have to handle all our burdens in life ourselves, that you are there be to be with us every step of every day. Thank you for your love, your grace and your peace. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Michael Vick - Abiding Savior Lutheran School , Lake Forest, CA