Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Isaiah 50:4-9a (NRSV)
The Lord GOD has given me
the tongue of a teacher
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord GOD has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.
The Lord GOD helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord GOD who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
My brain focused on the first sentence of the scripture passage when I read it, probably because I have taught Jr. High Sunday school at our church for many years. It has not been a difficult job to keep, as no one else seems to want it. Jr. High age kids can be difficult.
But I like them. They have not yet reached the stage where they know it all; they are just realizing that they can be know-it-alls, and they will listen if they think you are helping them get there. They think it’s cool for an adult to be interested in their opinion of something. They have no problem understanding that they are spiritual beings in physical bodies, because their bodies are going through such rapid, exciting changes. I watch them change from children to adolescents, and I am happy for them and I grieve for them. One day they come in, shy and quiet and wanting to learn, and the next they come in bored and gossipy and wanting to sleep. While they are there, we talk about Jesus, and I try to sustain them with a word. I find great joy in observing that moment when they see Jesus as a real person, not a fictional/mythical being who was the doll in the manger scene. Getting them to see that their most important self is their spiritual self, and that Jesus is real, are my goals in this job no one else wants.
I have no idea why I am writing this; it does not seem like much of a devotional, but I felt led to share these thoughts. Maybe there is someone who is supposed to be teaching and is not. Maybe there is someone who is teaching and is getting weary, wanting to quit, and needs a word to sustain them. Maybe no one will read this at all, and I am just talking to myself. If so, that will be okay; I need sustaining sometimes too.
God, I am grateful and thank you for the gift of life. Sustain me with your word. Amen.
Go with God.
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