We Won’t Be Shaken


Core scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Message: We got word about a month ago that our school district was making budget cuts.  That of course got people talking, but when the actual number came out, panic arose like a wildfire:  20 million dollars.  The next thing we knew, all librarian clerks were eliminated for the next school year.  Then they announced they would be closing the Olathe Virtual School.  None of this became real to me until I learned last week that due to the decline in numbers, our 7th grade in the fall would be cut to a team and a half. 

Eight of us sat there looking around the room at each other.  You could see the question in our eyes.  The concern.  Worry began to creep in.  Our administration apologized over and over.  You could tell they despised being the bearer of bad news, but the truth had to be shared.  Of the eight of us, only six would survive into the fall.  The other two would be shifted to another position in our building or possibly another school.  The mood was downright dismal.  Depressed.  And we hung our heads as we quietly moved into our PLCs. 

Nothing productive could have been talked about.  We all just had to vent, empathize with one another, and share each other’s pain.  Our Language Arts Department Chair knew we needed something to get our minds off the budget cuts.  God bless her, she set up an Easter egg hunt for us in the library.  It was just what the doctor ordered!  Nothing like a little chocolate to soothe the soul.  And I rejoiced that my grand prize was a free can of soda from the office!

I don’t know what it was, but for some reason the entire event did not seem to affect me as much as it did others.  I tried looking toward the positive.  I knew I still had a job.  I knew the Lord always provides.  And I knew that even a dramatic change would allow me to touch the lives of an entire different clientele.  It was that simple.  But still, as I overheard conversations the next two days—even from fellow believers—I could tell there was extreme doom, dismay, and doubt. 

How’s that for alliteration?

So, what can we say?  How do we handle this?  We have to go to the Word to inject hope into our weary souls.  Here are my initial thoughts I feel the Lord is telling me to share with others …

  1. Stop the gossip: It is clear where the Lord stands on this topic.  Proverbs 18:8 describes how delicious gossip can taste: “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.”  If you find yourself saying something like, “I heard (insert name) did this,” or hearing someone else say, “Why doesn’t (insert name) just do this?” you simply need to end the conversation.  You have no right to speculate or whisper “delicious morsels” to others.  Gossip is like sweets; the more you eat, the rottener you feel.  There are polite ways to redirect the subject, build up someone who is being ridiculed, or politely stand up for what is right.  Be that person.
  2. Remain positive: If you reflect on negativity, you will gain negativity.  Reflect on the good, and that negativity dissolves.  Paul pleads with us to do this in Philippians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  The Lord is with you every step of the way, and although He may lead you down a path you’d rather not go, He will still grow you through numerous unbeknownst blessings. 
  3. Let God dissolve your worry: So much easier said than done, right?  Jesus tackles this in Matthew 6 where He makes worry seem just plain silly.  He closes off this beautiful speech with a mic drop statement: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).  I have no clue what the fall will bring, but I do know this: worrying about it is counterproductive.  God has pulled me through before.  Countless times He has delivered, so why not rest in the assurance that He will come through yet again?
  4. Encourage others: The Christian teacher doesn’t stop at empowering themselves through these troubled times; they continually share that hope they have with others.  Encourage them!  Paul, the master encourager himself, says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  I already know the gal I need to talk to come Monday morning.  Her morale was crushed last Thursday during that meeting, and she needs to be lifted up!  I might even compliment the pep talk with a Starbucks gift card.  Who knows?  That small act of kindness might propel her through the day! 
  5. Keep the faith: This might be most important of all.  Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  We may not see the future, but guess what?  God does!  And He has a plan, a mysterious plan that is beyond our comprehension, that will soon be played out.  Our job as Christians is to embrace that trust in Him and know that He is working everything for our good (Romans 8:28).  What I have learned through my 45 glorious years is that God’s plan is always better than my own.  His plan is perfect!  And all I must do is keep my faith and hope in Him, allowing Him to take the wheel. 

Our budget may be 20 million dollars less in the fall, but that news is miniscule in comparison to what the Lord has planned.  Jesus found a way to feed the 5000 with five loaves of bread and two fish.  I am pretty sure He’s got this whole budget thing under control.  Trust in Him!  Allow His presence to resurrect your heart. 

Challenge: I wish I could send this blog to my entire staff.  There are so many out there who need to hear this message!  I challenge you all to take this message to heart and to share it with one or two people that you have strong relationships with.  You never know who might embrace it after looking at this situation with a Christian perspective. 

Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …

  • Pray for wisdom for administrators and officials in the Olathe School District as we deal with budget cuts.
  • Praise God for His provision and the hope we find in Him!
  • Pray for teachers everywhere to continue putting their trust in Jesus Christ.

Song application: “We Won’t Be Shaken” by Building 429

Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
No, we won’t be shaken
No, we won’t be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we’ll rise and sing
That we won’t be shaken
No, we won’t be shaken
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
No, we won’t be shaken

Just for fun: My brother, Clay, and I relived an old tradition in our family on Easter Sunday.  We each came up with five completely random words that we tried to get my Mom and Dad to say.  I created scorecards for us, and as our family celebrated Easter together, we celebrated our little secret game, trying to get our folks to say words like pumpkin, Kleenex, and Tom Cruise.  I was the victor after three hours of competition.   

Prayer: Father, keep our hope in You.  Dissolve our worry, and help us trust in You more during these difficult times.  Amen. 

Categories: Uncategorized

3 comments

  1. I am praying for your school district! Thank you for the encouraging words and for reminding
    us of our Father’s wisdom.

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