“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3, NKJV
During Isaiah’s ministry, many people had forsaken God altogether. Others decided to worship Him but lived as they pleased instead of according to God’s commands. Some said the right things when they worshipped, but their deeds proved their hearts were not right with God. They were ruthless, and ignored the needs of the poor and needy. Isaiah explained the devastating judgment God planned in response to man’s rebellion. And then he sang a song of praise to God because He is faithful to those who follow Him. In spite of all the promised chaos, Isaiah knew God was righteous in His judgment and offered grace to the wicked, even if they did not accept it.
At some point, all educators are given challenging students. Some have excess energy that must be channeled; some have extreme medical or emotional deficits. For me, the most challenging are the lazy liars. The ones who do little work and then lie about the teacher to explain their poor grades.
Several years ago, one of my students told her mother that I was racist and that was why she was failing my class. The mother called the school and demanded they fire me. This nightmare situation could have easily stolen my peace. My administration knew it was unfounded, but I still had to wait out the process. My hands were tied. I could panic, gossip, stew, and worry or I could give it over to God. I claimed Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” and waited.
The claim was proven to be false, and I am still a highly respected teacher in that school. I firmly believe that any other action on my part might have resulted in a different outcome.
Educators tend to be passionate about the people in our circle of influence. When we see poverty, illness, political unrest, natural disasters, or anything else touch our people we can get worked up and distracted from noticing how God is at work in the midst of it. It is tempting to blame God, we might even want to give Him a piece of our mind. Offering up a song of praise is rarely our first response. But what might happen if it was? What if we looked for the hand of God first, before we looked to blame Him? What if we praised Him and trusted Him to know what He was doing and why?
Lord Jesus, You have promised to be with us always. You have asked us to trust You at all times. Your Word even tells us to count it all joy when we encounter various trials. And we want to, but we cannot do this without Your help. Keep our minds fixed on You. Help us praise and worship You at all times. Thank you for proving Yourself worthy of our trust time after time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright Diana Anderson.
Diana is a member who teaches history and art to secondary students at a Christian school in Kennewick, WA.