Scripture: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 NIV

Through the laptop screen, I watched my former co-worker and fellow FCA advisor lean back in his desk chair, sandwich in hand. Ethan was on his 25-minute lunch break and was graciously using it to catch up with another co-worker and me. One month into his new position in an inner city school 1,100 miles from the Midwest both geographically and culturally, he was realistic about the difficulties he was facing: crowded sections, endless paperwork, student misbehavior, and disconnected administration.

Ethan reassured us that he could see God’s hand in every part of the calling he felt last spring to purposely move to a more challenging teaching situation where he could continue to serve the Lord as a PE teacher and coach.

Finishing a bite, he leaned toward us, face earnest, “I don’t know how I’d do this if I weren’t a Christian,” he said, “But God has it.”

And there it was—the divine plot twist condensed into two powerful words. By some counts, “but God” appears over 30 times in the Bible, a testament to our Creator’s penchant for the impossible.
We prayed for Ethan, for his district, and for his newly formed LIFT group of over a dozen teachers. We thanked the Lord for being Ethan’s strength and portion as he lives out his faith in front of one crowded PE class at a time. At “Amen,” he crumpled the Ziplock baggie and brushed away the crumbs, lunch break spent.

Then he grinned, “One more prayer request: I wasn’t intending for it to happen so soon, but God brought a girlfriend into my life.”

And that Zoom call lasted a little bit longer.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the ways You daily care for us as we follow Your leading. When our flesh and our hearts fail, give us the faith to follow You and to answer every difficulty with the words “But God.” Amen

Copyright Kristi Shanenko  To connect with the author, email kristi.shanenko@gmail.com

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Walking in the Opposite Spirit

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