He who watches the wind [waiting for all conditions to be perfect] will not sow [seed], and he who looks at the clouds will not reap [a harvest]. Eccl. 11:4, AMP

One year, I had a student in my class who could reduce a fellow student to tears with just a few words. He had an uncanny ability to zero in on the individual flaws of others even though he read haltingly and struggled over the simplest classwork assignments. After highlighting the pimple on someone’s nose, the imperfections in a boy’s haircut, or the sneakers another student wore, he’d single them out and tease them without mercy, causing others to laugh.

Even though his speech was stuttered, few teased him about it because he stood a head taller than most of the other students and had a temper. His record indicated that he had no fear of being sent to the principal’s office. In fact, prior to being assigned to my class, he had been suspended several times. No wonder his fifth-grade teacher had encouraged him to sleep during class!

That year, I considered this student my assignment from God. I prayed for him a lot. But even though he was tough, he was my kind of student. I liked him and he knew it. However, liking him did not mean I’d allow him to tease or belittle his classmates or get by with conduct that would distract him or others. And I expected him to work hard and not use his reading disability as an excuse for not turning in his homework since after-school help was available to him.

As the school year progressed, his classmates and I were amazed at his progress. Even he was surprised at his performance at times. His suspensions became a thing of the past. At the end of the year, his grateful parents sent me a note to thank me for working with their son. Occasionally, I still refer back to the note when I come across a child who is difficult to teach.

Do you have a troubled child in your class? One who came to you with a reputation? One who appears unteachable and bound for trouble? Perhaps that student is your assignment? How wonderful that He gives us the opportunity to grow as we represent Him in the workplace. For that, we are grateful.

Lord, we pray today for fellow teachers who have difficult students this year and for the students. Have mercy and bring Your joy in these assignments. Amen.

Copyright Clara Ruffin.

Clara is a lifetime member and retired educator from Connecticut.

Are you looking for a way to encourage others?

Do you have questions or want to connect with the author?

Were you inspired by this devotion?

Teachers of Vision is a digital and printed magazine that is for teachers and written by teachers to encourage and equip the educational community.

Walking in the Opposite Spirit

2 Responses

  1. This devotional encouraged me to continue praying for students, especially the difficult ones. Also to pray for other teachers. The scripture Clara quoted from Ecclesiastes 11:4, also, encouraged me in general areas of life and specifically as a parent regarding speaking the truth in love and sharing any warnings, in love, with my adult children sooner than later. Also, parents let us not take the attitude of “well, I had to learn on my own or I had to learn the hard way; so, will they.” Pray, then obey the unction of the Holy Spirit.” Thank you!

    1. Wow, thank you for sharing, Jacquelyn! God longs to hear our prayers and He is always faithful to answer them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CE Summer Bible Study

Thanks for your interest in joining us as we read through the New Testament with our fellow Christian educators this summer!