Testing season is upon us. Our school’s midyear results are back, not to mention the rest of the district’s, and lack of success is slapping us in the face. I won’t say exactly how bad, but it was bad enough that I received a few e-mails laced with panic. Bad enough that I spent an entire hour with my 7th grade Language Arts colleague crunching the numbers, attempting to find a solution to our misery. Bad enough that even some of the boldest Christian teachers I know began to fear March and April, our testing Super Bowl. Bad enough that it was on my heart as my number one prayer request last Friday and Saturday in the prayer groups I participate in.
But it was Friday morning when I came clean about my worries that I heard one of those whispers from the Almighty Creator. No, it wasn’t audible. It was more of just a feeling, a nudge that I could not ignore. His voice, clear as day, began to coat my heart with truth that alleviated my anxiety, and the truth came in the form of my youngest son’s life verse. I speak it to my little three-year-old every night before he goes to bed. He knows it by heart. Setting the scene here in the beginning of Joshua, God is telling Joshua that it is time to lead his men into the Promised Land. The Land of Canaan. And God knows there is a bit of hesitation in Joshua’s heart, so He repeats Himself.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1: 9).
Joshua follows through. He courageously rallies his men and leads them into uncharted territory, letting God’s power part the Jordan River for his men to cross. Next up? The conquest of Jericho. Joshua’s men, slightly hesitant, put their trust in God by walking around the city seven times, screaming loudly, and then watching the walls of Jericho crumble to dust. The city is theirs for the taking, and they take it. Boldly. Confidently. With purpose and conviction. Nothing is holding them back now as they see God’s plan in action, and no earthly man can stop them. No one.
Isn’t it time we applied that truth to our situation? Why am I questioning God’s omnipotent power? Why is worry creeping into my heart? Our God is so much bigger than these upcoming tests! If our God can part flowing water, why can He not conquer something miniscule in comparison? He is calling out for us to cast our worries on His shoulders. His truths trump Satan’s lies every time. Every time! Another scripture passed to me from a beloved colleague of mine spoke even more certainty to the current situation.
“[The godly] do not fear bad news; they trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (Psalm 112:7-8).
In the end, those scores, whatever they may be come March, matter nothing. If we give that test our best shot, that is all God can ask for. Colossians 3: 23 states, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for man.” Knowing we can look ourselves in the mirror at the end of the day and say there was nothing else we could have done matters more. His approval matters more. Know what? After reading that, I welcome March. Bring it on, baby! The battle has already been won, and our God will reign supreme. Nothing is impossible to Him. Nothing. And He is waiting for us all to be modern day Joshua’s, leading our students into battle. I think I’ll balk at having my students walk seven times around their computers and shout like barbarians, but you get the picture.
Do you have a scripture of your own that you’d like to share to shed light on testing worries? I would gladly welcome them below! In the meantime, may this worship song begin to inspire you on our trek to our testing Super Bowl.