“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalms 13:1-2 NIV)
The year that I worked at the school board office as the interim French consultant was a lonely time for me. I spent a lot of hours on this job, far more hours away from home than I would have as a classroom teacher. What I noticed was that everyone was looking out for themselves, and most of them didn’t seem to care about those in need. I witnessed people mocking their fellow co-workers, threatening to kick them out of the board office. To tell you the truth, part of me actually wished I would be kicked out. I realized then that I much preferred classroom teaching than this.
This experience was so traumatic for me that when the former French consultant came back from her maternity leave and asked me to continue to work for her part-time, I refused.
Knowing that my post with my school board was temporary, as my term came to an end, another school board reached out to me and offered me a similar position with their school board. Again, I refused. All I could do was remember with longing how wonderful it was to be a classroom teacher, to feel free to help people, to be away from those who continually put people down.
My last years of teaching were fun. I looked at the classroom as my mission field (But then, shouldn’t we all consider our jobs as mission fields?) I always felt the presence of my Heavenly Father in the classroom, and now that I am retired, I miss my students. In fact, one of the things that has brought me the most joy out of my teaching career has been that some of my students have become teachers.
I can certainly relate to Psalms 13:5-6: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” (NIV). I realize that even in the bad times, even when around those who mocked all the time, God was always my friend. He never mocked me. Instead, He always poured out His love on me. God is our friend. He loves you and He loves me. When we trust in His unfailing love, our heart rejoices in our salvation!
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)