Core scripture: “The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 28:7)
Message: It was no surprise at all. Our teacher prayer group was packed last Thursday morning. We all needed it. The news had recently come that our district was shifting from hybrid to fully remote after Thanksgiving. Talk about a bunch of deflated balloons! You could feel the uneasiness as we shared our thoughts together. One colleague even teared up.
What do you do during times like these? How can we live as Christian teachers, focused on the blessings from God—especially during this week of Thanksgiving!—when all seems bleak and dismal? It is not easy to find them, but there are stories out there that show God is still working behind the scenes. I would love to share one of those stories with you today.
One of the biggest blessings that came in the month of November was our middle school’s first virtual FCA meeting on Zoom. We kicked off on Veteran’s Day, sharing a story of forgiveness about World War II veteran Lou Zamperini, but it wasn’t until the following week that I saw God begin to move through a friend of mine, a college freshman who Zoomed in from his dorm.
He wanted to share his testimony, and I gladly let him. Finding Christ amidst a serious depression, my friend tearfully poured his heart out into those young ears listening. My eyes reddened as he got to the most touching part. The kids purposefully picked his brain afterwards, asking questions. His wisdom sank in like peanut butter to the soul. It stuck!
No more than a few minutes after the meeting, one of our 8th grade girls was at my classroom door in her mask. She couldn’t wait to share that my friend’s testimony about his battle with mental health was exactly what she was dealing with. She was recently texting a friend in need and soaked in every bit of the advice my friend gave. Talk about timing!
I went to my computer to type out a quick e-mail, thanking my friend for his time, but he had already beat me to the punch. There was an e-mail from him in my inbox, thanking me for giving him the opportunity to share his story. You could feel his excitement! I quickly replied back, thanking him for his time and sharing about the young lady who I had just talked to.
Our God is so good! He is my strength and shield. I do trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is indeed filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. We can all do the same! Praise our Lord this week. Enjoy time with your families. Relish the blessings God reveals to us, and be thankful no matter what the circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Challenge: I plan on doing this Thanksgiving Day. Get out a pen and paper and write God a thank you letter. Praise Him for all the good He does and the things you should be grateful for. Meditate on those thoughts. Share them with others. Let God’s goodness prevail over negativity.
Prayer points: Please pray for the following:
- Pray for the transition of my schools going back to remote learning.
- Pray for God to move in mighty ways, protecting our students at home.
- Praise Him for His goodness!
Other scripture: Reflect on these verses as we celebrate Thanksgiving:
- “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4)
- “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
- “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Just for fun: Need a good laugh? The Skit Guys are two Christian friends who love combining their two favorite things: Christ and comedy. Check out this Thanksgiving skit they created.
Prayer: Father, amidst all the chaos of the world, we know You are moving. Help us focus with gratefulness on Your many blessings. Amen.