We stand on the cusp of another school year, and along with the school supplies and schedules, the pens and papers, the lunchroom and lunchboxes comes the students we’ll call our own for 180 days.
In the classroom, we see a lot, pointblank. Though there are many highs, lows, and days in between, I’ve noticed that the bad seems to stand out more than the good.
Sadly, we live in a world both dark and dangerous for those on our roster, and, honestly, what I see in my classroom has repercussions for my faith.
Seeing the innocent face the ugliest parts of humanity and life itself is heavy. So heavy, in fact, that it can cause me to question the very heart of the Creator Himself.
So teachers, I want to ask you: is God good?
Is God still good when you consider the heartache plaguing society’s most vulnerable?
Is God good to the student who takes care of her younger siblings each day?
Is He good to the 12 year old who is the adult of his home and must make the decisions as such?
How about to those students who, during their time on this earth, have seen more death than life?
To the student who will not learn how to read?
The child paralyzed with fear because of lack of self-esteem?
That one who comes to school each day wearing the same outfit that invariably smells sour?
The student with the newest clothes who still goes home each day to an empty house because her parents are too busy with their own lives to be bothered with a child?
The student who self-harms?
The student who steals and hordes food from the lunch table as an act of self-preservation?
Is God good to the children facing abuse?
Those bullied on social media?
How about to the one contemplates suicide?
Teacher, bearing these children in mind, I ask you again: is God still good? Will you still sing His praises, no matter the highs and lows of the year?
As for me, I will believe that my God is good, even when I can’t understand it, and doubt creeps about like a thief.
We don’t have God’s perspective. Our view of time is limited to the past and present, and our perspective of even this is biased.
What’s more, we can’t see the future at all; in its place we only have paltry opinions about where and what we’ll be doing one day.
You can’t see why God is putting a child through the trials he faces.
You’ll not be able to see why God put this child in your classroom and decided that you were the one who would teach her.
Nor can you see the ramifications that will come with your involvement in that child’s life.
An oft-repeated refrain: God is good all the time; all the time God is good.
You, teacher, must be prepared to be the good God has in store for those children in your class.
The situation the child faces away from school may be treacherous, but you yourself can be a conduit God uses to rain His infinite goodness on a child.
Let the best thing that ever happened to that child be you.
God isn’t lackadaisical or cavalier about His job or the children on our rosters, so we shouldn’t be either. Instead, we need to adopt His attitude of intentionality.
My hope is that you as a teacher, librarian, janitor, technology specialist, lunch lady, coach, administrator, bus driver, will be a spot of hope in the darkness. I pray you’ll be the protection you pray over your students.
King David understood the weightiness of his leadership, but more importantly, he knew who was carrying that weight.
Teachers, we are leaders who conduct our soldiers, be they 8 or 18, in the fight for their futures and, ultimately, their lives.
David, in the middle of his enemies, still was able to sing God’s praises. He spoke to God saying, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
David fellowshipped with his Father in the middle of life-threatening danger.
That is my hope for your semester.
I hope that, when God calls you to peace and fellowship in the middle of calamity, you’ll take Him up on that offer.
I hope that your feet are so anchored to the Rock that your children can count on you to be steady ground in the middle of shifting sand.
I hope that your cup so overflows with love and joy that it spills onto your children and fills cups that have long been dry.
God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.
I think we can say this confidently, so long as we are willing to play a role in His good design.
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