A Note for Lauren on the First Day of School
Today, the children return to class at Los Pinares Academy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The first day back is always an exciting and nervous day for kids and parents. However, it is also a big day for teachers, especially if you are a teacher who wants to make a genuine lifelong difference in the lives of these young souls who are precious to God in heaven and therefore, extremely valuable to you. I thought I would send a note to my daughter, Lauren, who is teaching fourth grade. I know she takes her ministry very seriously and so today will be a big day.
Here are just a few words of encouragement as you jump into another school year:
1. Remember that God has planned this year to the smallest detail. Every blessing and trial, every interruption and school wide event is under the sovereignty of a God who has given Himself to do us great good. I read Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" yesterday and found great encouragement from this sentence: "The thought is full of consolation, that he who has fixed the bounds our habitation, has also fixed the bounds of our tribulation." In other words, even the bad days are designed and limited by God to only accomplish His good eternal purpose in and through our lives. It should not only comfort you but strongly invigorate you to know that God has plans for you and your class this year. Psalm 139:16 reads:
"Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."
2. Remember that people are praying for you. There is a dimension to your serving of your kids that will be unseen to them but not unknown to you. They may be only aware of what is happening visibly in the class but may you be continually reminded that there are people interceding and asking God for the grace, wisdom, love, self-control, joy, courage, and kindness that you will need to teach and to disciple your class. I pray that when you are focussing on your task that God will give you wonderful moments of conscious awareness that in the heavens, your name is being discussed and your needs are being supplied. I think of Elisha praying for his servant that God would open his eyes to see that with God there was more fighting for them than against them.
2 Kings 6:17
"And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."
3. Remember that God loves to do the impossible. There are always moments in our lives when we wonder how a person will change or how a persistent problem can ever be transformed. I have had a moment or two in the past like that when I was trying to raise you :) I know that you have a had many a moment like that when you have thought of me. When Jesus was training His disciples, they wondered at one point in time how anyone could possibly get saved from their sin and live for God. Jesus replied with these words: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Say that to yourself over and over again. It will allow you to be patient and kind. It will simplify your life. You just need to be faithful. Bring the five loaves of your energy, talents, training, love, and preparations and your two fish of personality and determination and let our Lord Jesus break them up and miraculously do more in the lives of your kids than all your striving and straining and fretting and fussing could ever do. You are the one God has called to this task. Just go do it.
I love you and am proud of you. Maybe, the word "proud" is the wrong word but you know what I mean. I thank my God on every remembrance of you and couldn't be happier to see both you and your sister living for Him. I would love to see you every day but am far happier to see you from a distance serving our Saviour. Have a great day today! Have a really, really richly blessed year of school this year!
1 Corinthians 15:5
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."