As a teacher, sometimes I feel like a broken record. I’m sure other teachers can relate. I repeat instructions many times. I review concepts that students should have already mastered. I remind kids to wash their hands, wipe their nose, and write their name on their paper. Sometimes my students are just not paying attention. On many a day I will catch myself saying, “(Jimmy), what did I just say?” Sometimes I feel like my students will never get to where I want them to be.
And yet, isn’t that how we are with God? He gives us countless examples of his faithfulness, his forgiveness, and his sovereign control in our lives. Still, we stumble. We forget. We get distracted. We don’t hear his voice. We don’t see the evidence of his hand in the day-to-day of our lives. Sometimes I can almost hear God saying to me, “Elyse, what did I just say?”
I feel overwhelmed. God says,
- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
- “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
I feel like a failure. God says,
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
- “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” – Daniel 9:9
- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
I feel fearful. God says,
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
I am so thankful that I serve the Lord who never gives up on me. Who never tires of repeating himself. No matter how many times he has to teach me something, he does it with grace and love. He takes my hand, tells me to look him in the eyes, and gently speaks truth to my heart.
When I am tempted to lose patience with my students who need me to remind them of something, may I remember how patient God is with me. He gently pulls me aside and says, “What did I just say?”