I was asked to give a devotion for the teachers. Here is what I said:
As we near the end of the year, often we enter a time of reflection. What was good about this year and what was bad. We think about what we should of done or could have done. We look to our graduating seniors and we want to send them off with hope for a bright future. We want to encourage them to take on the world. I don’t know about you but when I look in the mirror at this time of the year, I find I am without. I am tired. I am done. I want school to be over soooooooo bad I can taste it. I am not full of hope or encouragement, I am full of survival. I am just surviving.
Then I came across these verses:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. 7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
You see so many times in life, I am unsure. I make decision after decision for my home, for my family, for my job and most of the time it is an educated guess. Earlier this year I was reveling in a mistake walking around telling myself how foolish I was and basically telling myself I was no good for making it. Then I had an epiphany! If I am truly living my calling, in this job, in my home, and as a parent; then I am exactly the one God has chosen. You see, God knew before time. He knew that I was going to be in this position; He knew that he was giving me a family and home to care for. His knowing all of these things also means that He knew my flaws and picked me anyway. I am hopelessly flawed. He knew. He knew that I would make mistakes, but He picked me anyway.
I am chosen and so are you, and as a chosen followers of Christ, He asks us to love my God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength. He doesn’t ask for perfection. He doesn’t expect it. He wants us to trust him, and love him. He wants us to take His words and hide them in my heart, for those times when we question what am I doing. He wants us to use HIS words about us and His calling for on our lives, so that in Him we can be secure, not in ourselves.
Then as we settle into the security of knowing we are chosen, He says, “Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up .” I love that! As teachers you get to repeat this to His children everyday. You get to share His truth, but today, you need to take His word, and believe it for yourself.
One thing I have learned over my Christian years is that the world will fill you up with everything that is wrong. The world will tell you, you are failing. It will say you are fat. It will say you are not beautiful. It will give you an excuse to not try. It will celebrate your failure and reward your laziness. BUT GOD has a very different view of His chosen ones. God says all things are possible for those in Christ Jesus. He will say that we are loved with an everlasting love. Psalms 91:11 says “He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways.” Did you hear that, the GOD of the UNIVERSE orders His Angels to protect YOU! The Lord says ask and you shall receive, knock and the door shall be opened. He says that condemnation is not for those in Christ Jesus. If you talk about God’s word all the time, then there is no room for the condemnation and negativity of the world. “Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” In other words, live the words God gives you every day! Do not conform to the patterns or words of the world, but be renewed by God's word as your guide and as your value.
As we close out this year, while we may be tired, and while we may feel defeated. We may need school to be over soooooo bad we can taste it. I say let’s finish strong and in truth. Let’s show our students that even until the end we can be an example of God’s word. Let’s show them that the future is bright and promising, and that even in our flaws, God has chosen us to love Him, to Love one another, and to Trust His plan for us.