Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Humbled by Grace and Gratitude

I have felt the love of God through the actions of my congregation. This past Sunday they said a “good-bye” to my teaching and gave a blessing for my work in graduate school. I am humbled by their love and by the grace of our God.

It was 24 years ago, on my birthday, that my husband and I received the call from this congregation for me to come and teach in their new school. We prayed over it and I signed it and sent it off. We both felt confident that this was God’s will for us and that He would care for us as he had while we were in our previous congregation. We, of course, had no idea what God had in store.

I remember feeling overwhelmed when I first began the year. The school was new and no curriculum had been ordered. I prayed and made quick decisions that future staff members had to live with for several years. Then I taught for 6-8 weeks without any curriculum while waiting for the teacher and student books to arrive. I had gone from teaching four grades in one room with too many textbooks to even take them home to teaching one grade with no books. I felt God at my elbow all the way.

Over the years the congregation has learned to support and love this ministry. God has greatly blessed our efforts and His work flourishes in the school and child development center. I cannot count the number of children and families that have been brought to the love of God through the work of the wonderful people on our staff. This church is blessed and I have been blessed to have been a part of this ministry.

Once again, I find myself overwhelmed. Instead of choosing a curriculum I am choosing classes that will prepare me for God’s next adventure. I am tempted to close my eyes and choose the ones on which my pen lands. Just as I didn’t know if I could handle the responsibility of starting a new first grade and directing the Sunday School program those many years ago, now I wonder if I am up to this task.

The answer is “no.” I am not up to this task anymore than I was equipped for the work of the beginning of the school. God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. I cannot do this, but God can. In this, is my hope; in this, is my assurance.

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the congregation for honoring me this past Sunday. thank you for following God's urging to begin a school and center. Thank you for your love and support these many years. and thank you for your generous gifts that will keep my family in groceries for several months as God reorganizes our finances. Please keep me in your prayers even as I pray for you.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

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