Any teacher worth his or her paycheck (and even those who aren’t!) knows that every good lesson plan ends with some way to evaluate the lesson, either an oral review, reaction paragraph, or, yes, a quiz or a test.
As the Master Teacher, God is no different. I felt like I was taking a “pop quiz” today….
God has been trying to teach me a lesson on contentment and focus recently. I have been pretty good for a couple of weeks now on focus…focus on God and His plans for me…focus on the blessings I have instead of what I don’t have….focus on the fact that He loves me and won’t fail me. That is, pretty good until yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday afternoon my focus shifted without me even realizing it. Could be the allergies, because they are bad. Could be the lack of sleep caused by the allergies. Could be the effects of the medication I am taking for the allergies…. (sorry, lost my focus again!!) At any rate, whatever the reason, my focus started to be on the boxes of stuff that is systematically getting packed up and labeled and stacked in the garage, constant reminders of what is to come and on the fact that more of his things are getting cleared out daily. And it was on the fact that when he speaks of “us” now, it is no longer singular, it is plural (i.e. it is no longer “us together” it is “two of us” or “between us”). And it was on how am I ever going to pack up, teach school, look for a job, look for a house, get this house ready to sell, and be everything to everybody all at once?? It was on the children, and how far behind they are in their schoolwork, and are we going to be done school in time for camp? It was on summer camp and how I am going to plan out 8 weeks of arts and crafts, when sometimes I can’t even plan dinner for tomorrow??
Choices. It boils down to choices. Who am I going to listen to? The negative voice of the deceiver who says, “It is impossible,” or “You can’t,” or “God won’t come through”? Or will I choose to listen to the Savior who says, “Don’t worry, I love you and I will take care of your needs, every one of them”? Sure, easy to pick the “right answer” but how hard it is to live it!!
I leave you with a verse that seems to fit here. Paul says,
“Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Philippians 4:8-9 (The Message)
What I like the most about this passage is how it highlights the connection between how we think (meditate/fill your mind), how we act (put into practice), and how we feel (His most excellent harmonies—other translations use “peace”.) It starts with a conscious choice to meditate or fill my mind with things that are good, and the end result will be God’s peace.
Boy, I am so glad that God’s tests are “open book”!!