We all have problems. Never a day goes by when we aren’t faced with plenty of them. Most of us have experienced the help our Heavenly Father pours out to us during such problematic times. Most of us have basked many, many times in His love. Why is it, then, that God isn’t our first “go-to” for help? Why do we always try to push through on our own, when help is but a prayer away? Why is it that when we do remember to pray, we continue to worry and fret?
It was my last year of teaching, and I had received the worst class possible: I was to teach core French – A required French-as-a-second-language course – to a class of Grade 6 English-language students. Not only could these kids have cared less about learning French, but they were also known as being the worst class in the entire school with no motivation to learn any subject, let alone one that they perceived they would never need!
I struggled with this class for a few weeks. I remembered that God would help me. I remembered the many times He had resolved my classroom problems in the past. I even remembered to pray and ask for help. Nonetheless, I continued to try and rely on my own understanding. I would complain continuously about the class, and who is surprised to know that I continued to fail in any attempt to motivate them?
Finally, I surrendered them all to God, and He impressed a great idea upon me. You see, the only thing this particular class wanted to do was watch movies. I told the class if they did their work and were considerate and caring to myself and their fellow students, at the end of the month they could watch a movie in French class. I even told them that if they were especially attentive and responsible with their work, we could dedicate the last 15 minutes of each period to watching part of a movie.
It was amazing. Those kids, who refused to learn any school subject, began to learn French! In fact, they wanted to learn, and instead of dreading my core French class, I began to look forward to the fun I knew we would have.
At the end of the semester, after I had turned in the grades for this class, my principal called me into the office to ask me how the class had gotten such good grades. Because their grades in core French were better than their grades in their other subjects, she was sure I had simply given them good grades for no work! She was amazed to realize that the students had actually learned something in their semester!
I could only thank my Heavenly Father. It all made me think of Ps. 20: “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.” (Psalms 20:1-5 NIV)
You can believe that I was shouting for joy over God’s victory in that class! Why is it that I continue to worry about things? Why don’t I just give them immediately to God and then prepare to relax in His miracles? I pray that in the future I will always remember that God WILL answer me in my distress, that I may trust in the name of the God of Jacob to protect me, that He WILL send me help and support, that He LOVES to give me the desire of my heart and make all my plans succeed!
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)