A rainbow

Although I was a brand-new teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed my job. Towards the end of the school year, however, I was warned that I might become redundant. My first thought was: "What did I do wrong?" I would scratch my head because I couldn't identify glaring errors.

Those were moments where I found myself wondering what I should do next.

One month later, I was told that I could remain at my school. No other explanation was given; but the next year, I was again told that I might possibly be redundant in the upcoming school year.

You can imagine how confused this left me, and my principal recognized my fear: "Every year new teachers are made 'redundant' towards the end of each school year," she explained. "This is just in case the following year brings fewer students than anticipated. Don't worry about it. You will have a position next year. After all, there aren't that many French teachers out there."

She was right!

Nonetheless, I received the same, "You are redundant" message every year for my first 10 years. Fortunately after that, I had a secure position until I retired.

So many people face trials, yet there is hardly anyone who will give them comfort and encouragement. That principal was the only one who cared about her teachers. She took her time to explain the school board policy, and her words were welcome confirmation that I had nothing to worry about.

May we, too, focus on those who face dilemmas. Our attitude of, "Oh! He will get by!" is our way of ignoring their stress, and it will not help them at all. What they need instead is someone who will listen and provide encouragement and reassurance that she or he is not alone.

This is what Jesus did. When a follower was confused, He took the time so that he could understand that he had nothing to worry about it. After all, Jesus knew that He would always be there for the hurting individual: "I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20, MSG).

He is always there for us as well, encouraging us and guiding us. Wow! A worry-free life is within our grasp!

Rob Chaffart

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