To All the Educators

By: Rev. Charles Hammond, pastor of Unity ARP Church, Lancaster, SC

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

In our church, we have many members who serve as teachers and administrators in our schools.  These are difficult days for all of us, and especially for those who are trying their best to educate our young.  The challenges facing our educators are tremendous: adhering to safety protocols, teaching both live and virtual classes, keeping up with attendance (how do you do that online?), half the class not turning in their work, getting emails and texts from frustrated parents, having to quarantine because of exposure, the entire school having to shut down on short notice because of an outbreak… How can anyone educate under all this stress?

The good news is you are not alone!  All of us are having to deal with things well beyond our control.  I remember Paul Tripp using the illustration of a hurricane.  At the center of the hurricane is the eye – this is where everything is calm and peaceful.  On the outer edge of the eye is the wall of the storm followed by the storm itself.  The storm is anything but peaceful – it rages with pelting rain, damaging winds, and flooding.  There is little we can do in the storm because its power is too overwhelming.  While we may be helpless to control things in the storm, God isn’t and He controls the things we cannot.

Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our heart.  Think of all the things outside your control: who contracts the virus, what steps parents are taking to make sure their children are doing their work at home, what safety protocols are in place, what others say in their emails, etc.  While we cannot control the storm, we can acknowledge the One who can.  God is sovereign and He knows what is needed, more so than you and I.  Don’t lean on your own understanding, but acknowledge Him, seek Him, and let the Lord handle the storm.  It’s just like the gospel itself: we are powerless to save ourselves from sin, only Christ can.

Meanwhile, you have a job to do and a responsibility to uphold.  Seek the Lord’s will as you strive to educate in the midst of the storm around you.  Do your best in the eye of the storm to control the things God has given you.  Demonstrate Christ’s mercy and compassion to your students, their frustrated parents, and the administrators who are trying to cope with the storm as well.  Our paths become straight when our eyes are focused on His will and not on the storm all around us.  That’s why Peter began to sink.  Only Christ can calm the storm!

 

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