Do not fret because of those who are evil…Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture…Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:1a, 3a, 4-6, NIV
Everyone who knew my friend Amanda viewed her as a natural teacher—caring, creative, wise, and loving. Another obvious thing about her was that she was not ashamed of her relationship with Jesus. And, being a writer, she was always working on a book or a new piece of poetry. She eagerly shared her current writing projects, and it wasn’t any different the day that Ms. Payne came into her classroom to observe her.
Ms. Payne, a system-wide coordinator, had been assigned by administrators to evaluate Amanda and a few other teachers this year. And because she knew the curriculum Amanda was teaching, it seemed logical enough.
On the day of the observation, when Ms. Payne saw Amanda’s manuscript near her desk, she asked if she could look at it. Amanda obliged. Of course, her writing spoke of Christ. And apparently, this offended Ms. Payne.
Her lesson went well; the class behaved and responded well to the lesson, much to Amanda’s satisfaction. However, when the evaluation came back from Ms. Payne, Amanda read nothing but criticism. This happened each time that Ms. Payne observed Amanda that year. What a crushing blow! Nothing she did seemed to make a difference, and from her perspective, everything had seemed to go so well. Due to the evaluations, Amanda was placed on “assistance” for the next year.
But God had a plan. After that year, Ms. Payne left the school system. As a result, Amanda’s principal became her new evaluator. It didn’t take long before she was reinstated completely with excellent evaluations. A year later, Amanda won a prized national teaching award.
The key to Amanda’s success was her trust in the Lord, her determination to continue doing good, and her cultivation of faithfulness in that which she knew to be right. We can trust God to bring about justice on our behalf. Even if we don’t receive the honors that Amanda did, we can be sure that God will right the wrong.
Thank You, Lord, for watching over everything that concerns us. Help us to be gracious when we are put through hard times by those we trust or work with. Amen.
Copyright Shirley Wilson.
Shirley is a retired member and former board member of Christian Educators.