This week's blog is written by my dear friend, Pam Hankins. Pam is a retired life-long educator who has a passion for the Lord and desire to serve fellow Christian educators. She has been such an encouragement to me and I have no doubt her words will be a blessing to you!
One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of Esther. Though God is not explicitly mentioned in this story, His fingerprints and sovereignty are ever present.
Here, an unlikely orphaned Jewish maiden named Hadassah rises to prominence in the ancient city of Susa, the capital of the Persian Empire. Esther, Hadassah’s Persian name, is positioned by the sovereignty of God to wield powerful influence over King Ahasuerus and to save her people from destruction.
A reluctant participant at first, Esther reminds her uncle, Mordecai, that she risks her life by approaching the king to ask for the lives of her people. Mordecai responds with these powerful and prophetic words:
Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Esther 4:14
Like Esther, we Christian educators find ourselves in a strange and challenging time. Yet, it is no surprise to God that we are here during the season of COVID-19. We have unprecedented opportunities to step up as believers to encourage, love, and plant seeds that can lead a hurting world to Christ. We, through Christ, have the power to affect eternity!
· Be salt and light!
Jesus places this charge in front of us. Light the way for discouraged colleagues, students, parents, and administrators with positives that come from working together to solve complex problems. Find blessings and celebrations and share! Look for ways to let your Christianity shine forth. For such a time as this, we have been called to be salt and light!
You are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
· Ask God to lead you to someone who needs mentoring.
Check in with him/her frequently. Be positive. Point out opportunities to teach and learn in innovative ways. Encourage. Motivate. Young teachers are likely to feel overwhelmed with new curriculum, new colleagues, and new expectations. The protocols in place to protect the school from possible COVID infection are additional new learnings for a beginning educator. Similarly, older teachers may feel insecure with the online components which they may face. Might you lend an ear, ideas, and support in planning?
As iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
· Be the voice of reason, calmness, and peace.
As we are still and know whose we are, let’s reflect the peace that passes all understanding onto children who may be stressed wearing a mask all day. Use your resources such as music, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques to lead students to a place of peace and comfort. Notice when the adults around you are feeling stressed. Radiate peace.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
· Show your sphere of influence from where your strength comes.
People may ask you, “How do you do it?” or “How do you remain positive in these tough times?” Be ready to share!
The Lord is my Strength and my Shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. Psalm 28:7-8
Precious educators, don’t waste COVID-19! Let’s pray for our eyes to be open to the multitude of opportunities that lie within our sphere of influence!