1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I taught middle school for thirteen years. (Unlucky number, but lucky me!) When people would ask me what age group I taught, upon hearing "seventh grade", they would view me either as a saint or a lunatic. I was neither. I genuinely liked these "tweens" who mingled the genuine curiosity of children with their geometrically-expanding cognitive abilities. Certainly, every year saw those infamous few who tried my patience and made me wonder if I could survive without going crazy; fortunately, the good eggs always far outweighed the bad.
Throughout my years as a teacher, I was conscious daily of the huge responsibility granted me in educating these youngsters. It was daunting at times to think that anything I said or did on any given day could affect them for the rest of their lives. This thought kept me humble indeed!
Every day, during the flaccid "moment of silence" substituted for powerful, and much needed, prayer in the public schools, I would silently make this appeal to God:
"Heavenly Father, let me do Your will and walk in Your ways in everything I think, say, and do this day. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."
I invited the Lord into my heart, my mind, my classroom. He gave me the strength and wisdom to treat every child in my care as one who is in His, first and foremost. Even on the most difficult days, when I was tempted in every way to stray from the mark, these words would float back up to the surface of my thoughts, calming me, refocusing me, reminding me whose work I was truly doing by touching, positively, the lives of these children.
I gave myself over to serving God so I could better serve my students. Teaching was, for me, a labor of love, fruitful and never in vain. I feel confident that He allowed me to make an affirmative impression on these youngsters; a lasting one of love which they now pay forward in their lives.
Will you pray with me?
Father, we thank you for the many opportunities to touch the lives of others in Christ's love. Keep our eyes open and our words prepared when someone we meet needs to hear the good news of Your salvation. May we all exemplify Your grace and mercy in our daily lives. May all our works be done in Your Name. Amen.
Psalms 38 or 119:25-48
1 Corinthians 15:51-58
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