Core scripture: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
Message: Pay heed. Brace yourselves. Strap on your battle gear. They are coming. Oh, yes, they are coming. Fidgety students. Grumpy colleagues. It should not be a shock that the chaos of the last week of school before Christmas Break rivals that of a room full of kindergartners sucking down Jolt Cola, having a contest to see who can jump the highest onto their chairs. (Not sure where that analogy came from, but you can trust it would be off the charts on the chaos scale.)
Yes, we have reached that time of year when you just want to put on a video, sit back, and watch time expire away. The clock is laughing at you from the wall. Temptation to throw in the towel is more than apparent, and all you crave is to curl up in a fetal position, shielding yourself from the craziness. So, what do we do? How do we survive this last week of school? Here are a few thoughts to chew on as we approach the peak of survival mode.
- Stop fighting. Have you ever been in one of those situations where you try and try only to see your efforts go up in flames? Exodus 14:14 reminds us, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Let God fight this battle for you. Boldly pray like Jehoshaphat did. The Lord told him in response, “You will not need to fight in this battle … ” (2 Chronicles 20:17 a). I like God’s chances over mine.
- Focus on Jesus. Two thousand years ago the world was in desperate need of a Savior. He came to save us, and His profound words in John 16:33 remind us that the battle has already been won: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” If Christ can overcome the world, I am pretty sure He can handle the last week of school.
- Count your blessings. Your mind is in a battle between positive and negative thoughts. An old Chinese proverb says that there is a good dog and bad dog that are fighting in each of us. The one that wins is the one we feed the most. Feed yourself with positive thoughts. As Philippians 4:8 says, “Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Get out a journal and write these thoughts down. Choose joy over frustration.
The light is being seen at the end of the tunnel, my friends. Two weeks with your family and friends awaits you. Don’t let Satan get the best of you. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Like Hillsong United’s lyrics sing, “Let the devil know not today.” You’ve got this!
Song application: “Not Today” by Hillsong United
I’ll sing the night into the morning
I’ll sing the fear into Your praise
I’ll sing my soul into Your presence
Whenever I say Your Name
Let the devil know not today
Just for fun: Making seating charts for the new quarter is just like creating a battle plan—you never know where those mines are going to explode.
Prayer: Lord, help me through this last week of school before Christmas Break. Focus my heart on the power and beauty of your Son, Jesus. Amen.