Well, it is that time again. Midyear testing time. Students are already beginning to mentally check out for Christmas Break (I suppose I’m allowed to say Christmas considering this is a Christian blog). Teachers are stressing over the results yet to be seen. The administration is under pressure from their superiors at the head shed, which in turn makes things a bit edgy. Throw in the fact that my district is piloting a brand new MAP test that none of us are familiar with, and we officially have panic. It is like I am gasping for air, slowly drowning in a pool of my own worry. I can pull some truth from the sermon I heard Sunday to address these issues.
First and foremost, recognize that you are not alone. We are all in this together. The image I painted above of me drowning alone should actually not be the case. If I would just look around, there is another colleague waiting to throw me a life preserver! I was comforted to see an e-mail go out from our principal yesterday asking everyone to go to a quick meeting Thursday after school to have teachers who have already tested show others what went on. Why worry about the unseen? Christ says in Matthew 6: 27, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Aint that the truth? Seek comfort in your friends, trust that God will guide you, and stop the senseless worrying.
Secondly, divine direction is needed. How do we get divine direction? Through prayer and through seeking God’s wisdom through His Word. Pray about what is ailing you. Quiet yourself and listen to God’s response. If you open your heart to Him, He will nudge you toward specific scripture that will enlighten you. That is where the Bible comes into play. Matthew 6: 33 states, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Take any problem you have in life and the Bible will provide a road map to detour around that trouble. And yes, that most certainly included midyear testing.
Finally, as Christian teachers we must make a decision to trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3: 5-6. Do you know what worry says? Worry says I am unsure of God’s power. Worry says I am letting the world get the best of me. It is one of Satan’s most powerful tools to inject uncertainty in our lives. God’s response to worry is epitomized in two powerful words: trust and faith. Can you live by those two words? With clear eyes, smile at what lies ahead, knowing God is in control.
I humbly admit that my faith has been teetering. Satan has been slipping in some major sucker punches that are leaving me doubting, but do you know what is stronger? God’s Word is stronger. Cling to faith! “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Believe in that truth. Deflect Satan’s blows with the Word of God. As Chris Tomlin sings in his song God of Angel Armies, “I know who goes before me. I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.” With God at your side, He will fight your battles. He will defend you, shelter you, and die for you. Let’s trust in Jesus during this Christmas season as we celebrate His birth.
(You really should know what song is coming here, right? Enjoy Chris Tomlin’s song below.)