This story takes me back about 35 years, to the my first days at the American university I attended after graduating from a college in France. I knew I wanted to teach, and one of the classes I needed to take that first semester in teacher’s college was a class on curriculum.
Back in those days, my English wasn’t quite as good as it is now. I would be in a regular class with American students, and to be perfectly honest, I had no idea what “curriculum” meant! But no worries. That was what the entire class was about, right? Surely I’d figure it out pretty quick, as long as I paid attention in class!
And that is what I determined to do. I listened carefully to everything the professor said, and I did all my homework as required. Unfortunately, I still had no concept of what “curriculum” meant!
Maybe if I worked harder…
And so I put myself doubly hard into my classwork. Nonetheless, the definition of that word still eluded me. What could I do? I would surely fail the class! But I had never failed a class before! I began to panic at the mere thought. It truly felt like some evil monster with the title “curriculum” was after me, and there was no way to keep it from eating me up!
I’m sure we have all had experiences where we feel that there is no way to escape bad news. David certainly knew how this felt, for his recorded words in Psalms 35 gives us the recipe for what we need to do in such situations:
“Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to me, ‘I am your salvation.’ May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away; may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.” (Psalms 35:1-6 NIV)
Whenever we are faced with anything that appears bigger than we are, we need to … Call upon the Lord! We need to … Give it to God! We need to … Call upon Him to fight against those who fight against us! We need to ask Him to take up shield and armor, to brandish the spear and javelin against those who pursue us, to come to our aid!
And that is exactly what I did in that curriculum class!
The last day of class rolled around and I knew I would receive my grade. Because I still had no idea what “curriculum” meant, I was pretty sure I would be very disappointed in my final grade. When I received it, however, I was pleasantly surprised: I had received a “B”! Wait. A “B”? How is it possible to receive a “B” in a class on curriculum, when I still had no idea what “curriculum” was?
But it was true. I had my “B”, and there was only One who deserved the thanks: My Heavenly Daddy!
Whatever it is that seems to be hemming you in, fighting against you, contending with you, God will come through! He will fight for you! All you have to do is ask and believe!
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)