Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4, NIV
A friend of mine is a reading facilitator at a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon, primarily Hispanic, inner-city school. Her days are filled with co-teaching in several primary grades and serving dyslexic and struggling readers individually and in small groups at all grade levels (K-5) throughout the day. She serves around 70 to 90 different children each week. Her schedule changes weekly as students are constantly added and removed from her roster, and the many required tests for the different grade levels are administered at different times.
“Academic maelstrom” most accurately describes her teaching position. A maelstrom is defined as, “a powerful often violent whirlpool sucking in objects within a given radius.” However, it is amazing to watch Sylvia sail happily along in this whirlpool and not get sucked down into negativity or discouragement. She loves her job and can’t wait to get there each day. She has even chosen to start her day tutoring thirty minutes before school starts. She ends it by tutoring for another hour after school ends several days a week so she can work with even more children.
I believe the following verses in the book of James describe my friend’s outlook. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). She believes and understands that the challenge of her profession is bringing her to spiritual and professional maturity.
Are you in a professional maelstrom right now? Do you believe God is testing your faith and producing perseverance in your life? Do you believe that this is all a part of God’s plan to bring you to spiritual and professional maturity? I want to encourage you today that with God’s help, you can successfully pass this time of testing.
Lord, thank you for giving us perseverance and maturing us through the professional trials we face. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright Don Clark.
Don is a member and a retired elementary special education teacher. He recently retired from his role as the Houston area director for Christian Educators.