I’m sure that many who read this can immediately think of at least one person who guided them toward God when they were a child, but some do not have that person. A couple weeks ago I attended a Sunday school teacher meeting that was led by our very wise and inspirational director Marlin. She started the meeting by quizzing us. In the end she revealed her quiz was a tool to help us reflect on what an important role we play in the lives of the children at our church and to recognize that the mark we leave is much more memorable than what team has won the most World Series. As I sat there reflecting on those who shined God’s light on my life, I was touched to the point of tears.
I reflected on my past teachers, both at church and in school, on my mentors, friends, and family members who showed me the way to salvation. So often we forget to thank those who molded us into the Christ ambassadors we are today. What an honor it is to stand side by side with my fellow Sunday school teachers knowing that when little Micah or Anny are in their thirties they might remember what little piece of God I shared with them. You see, you may not get to see the seed you sowed grow into a sky-scraping redwood, but you do get the satisfaction of knowing that you planted that seed and it has a better chance of growing just being in the soil.
This season of Thanksgiving I have tried to take the opportunity to thank those who have sowed the Chelsea seed. They did not just throw me into the soil of the gospel to let me roll around in it on my own. They joyfully got their hands dirty along with me, sharing all they knew of God’s love, forgiveness, salvation, all of God’s character. Because they did that, even though I have had times of wandering, I always come back to where they led me…to the foot of Jesus.
Thank you to the woman who came to my house when I was only a child to teach my mom about the Bible. You planted a seed that has nourished my family ever since. I am forever grateful.
Please leave your notes of thanksgiving to the people in your life who planted a seed of faith in your heart. I’d love to hear (or read) your notes of thanks.
It is easy to judge a book by its cover. If we are honest, we all do it. When is the last time you passed a beggar on the street and completely fabricated their life story in your head before handing them a few coins? Or how about passing a screaming kid in the grocery store and glaring at the parent as if they aren’t already doing everything they can? Sometimes this judgement even happens when we are praying; maybe not in this exact way, but it does. For instance, say I am preparing to pray for a woman who is in a wheelchair and would like to someday walk again. From appearances I may only pray for her legs to be restored, but what if there is something else going on in the emotional or even spiritual realm, and I failed to pray for it because I didn’t wait on the Lord to reveal it or for some other reason.
Recently I have been frustrated with my lack of control over my Sunday School classroom. I almost always pray for the kids the week before, but inevitably I at least partially lose control. I feel very supported by my fellow teachers and Children’s Ministry leader, however I’m at my wits end. After teaching today I attended another class my church is doing on healing. Today’s topic and discussion spoke right to my heart,, but it wasn’t instantaneous. It took some time for me to realize that these two things were God speaking to me personally in this very specific moment. The first thing He said was, “You are a great teacher.” Well, that made me feel better. The second thing was, “Here is the way I want you to pray for these students and their families.” See, I was only praying for the surface problems, not the root of the issues. I was convicted that I hadn’t prayed for the parents who are the covering over the children in my class. I hadn’t waited on the Lord to reveal the deeper issues and their root causes. Lord, forgive me.
God is so gracious to give us the authority to pray over others. He is so gracious to pour out the Holy Spirit and to describe our prayers as sweet smelling incense. He is so gracious to know our heart’s desire and respond with generous blessings. Today, although the morning had its challenges, I am honored that God gave me the opportunity to pray for the families of my students and to be a part of his refining process in young people. Great is our God.
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