". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Sunday, January 29, 2017

When Teachers Question God: Wilderness Times in the Believing Teacher's Life

Bible clipart image picture painting public domain wilderness leadership
"Moses and the Burning Bush" by James J. Tissot
We question God. It's natural. Men and women of faith have been questioning God since the beginning of time. Rather than discouraging questions, God welcomes them. He even responds.

From Moses's time in the wilderness (Exodus 3) comes a discussion with the Lord about needs and fears that are close to every believer's heart. During times of wandering, these needs and fears come to the forefront.

The Christian teacher may ask some of the same big questions that Moses wrestled with when he met with God at Horeb, the Mountain of God:

"Who am I?"

  • Am I called to be a teacher?
  • How can I juggle my career and all my other roles?
  • Which role is most important?
  • What do you want me to be when I grow up?

"Why are the people I care for being treated unjustly?"

  • How can I stand up to bullying in my school--from students and adults?
  • How can I show compassion to the downtrodden?
  • How can I exercise my First Amendment rights and inspire others to do the same?

"Do you see me, Lord? Do you hear?"

  • What do you see when you look at me, Lord?
  • Do you remember my frailty?
  • Why is it so hard to carve out devotional time in my day?
  • Are you hearing my prayers? Nothing seems to change.
  • I feel like no one listens to me. Are you listening?
  • The world is darkening. How can I maintain hope?
  • I'm hurting. How can I find your comfort?
  • I'm burnt out. Where can I find rest?

"Why am I in this wilderness?"

  • Is this the place you want me to be?
  • My desires are not being satisfied. Why?
  • What are you trying to teach me, Lord?
  • Am I willing to listen?
  • Am I willing to change?

"How long will this season last?"

  • I get impatient. Will you give me a glimmer of hope to keep me going?
  • Am I learning patience? Am I learning the other lessons I need to learn?
  • Am I drawing close to you?
  • Do I believe that you have something good in mind? Do I trust you?

"Where are you leading me?"

  • Am I teaching at the right district? In the right grade level or subject area?
  • Is it time to look for something different? Or to rest in you right here, right now?
  • Is there an area of passion that you are calling me to explore?
  • Do I trust you to lead me when I don't know the destination?
  • Can I remember that your timing and your purpose may look different from my expectation?
  • Do I trust that you are all-wise, all-powerful, and good?

seasons of life, desert, wilderness, wandering, Moses, photography, images, devotional aid, devotions, inspiration, spiritual
Deserts of the Heart
Right now, many of these questions are settled in my mind, but I can vividly remember times when some of them blazed in front of my eyes every day, keeping me from being effective as a teacher, wife, and mother. Having wrestled with these questions, posed them to God, and learned His will for me, I am a happier, more blessed person for having been led through the wilderness. Yes, I still struggle in my calling at times. Yes, I still have days of confusion and questioning. But I remember the lessons from the desert, and they bring me peace.

Facing the wilderness?
Sometimes we need to ask the help of another Christian friend or two or three to steer us to a place where we can ask these questions. Sometimes God will steer us there directly, by removing responsibilities, by sending obstacles, by bringing us to a desperate place so we have to look to Him.

If you're there now in that desperate place, I hope you will run to the wilderness as Moses did. Allow yourself to thirst and hunger. Wait for God to meet you. Treasure His word. Ask your questions. Believe that it has a purpose.



For further reading:
Devotional Aids for Every Christian Teacher
Teaching As Calling
Exodus Chapter 3 (Bible Gateway)
Deserts of the Heart: Finding God During the Dry Times by Pamela Reeve

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