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Topic: First Day of School (06/28/04)
TITLE: Planted Seeds
By Tonya Keller
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“I wish I didn’t have to go to school, Mamma,” she whispered as she hugged her mother farewell.
“Shar,” the nickname spoke by her mother hung in the air briefly before she continued. “I’ll pray for you today. Trust God.”
“Trust God,” Shar repeated aloud as she entered the large school that she attended. She soon was reminded of the reasons that she disliked public school so much. Bumping and shoving, swearing and teasing, fellow students mingled the crowded hallways. Vile humor spoke by those around angered Shar as her ears burned and her cheeks flamed as she tried to block out the vulgar words.
After the first hours of the day lingered by, Shar’s longing to be on the farm and alone with her Lord overwhelmed her. While everyone hustled about for an upcoming break, Shar found a place to spend time alone in prayer.
“Dear God,” Shar prayed silently as she sat alone in a classroom during lunch break. “Such a lost world this is. Thank You that I know You. Give me the words to share if I find my faith being challenged. I wish I weren’t here Lord. You know how I would rather be back on the farm, planting seeds, nurturing them along. But I know that You have a plan, a reason why I must attend this school. This is just the first day, help me to not dread it, yet live in it for You. Give me wisdom to…” Her thoughts drifted away as the bell sounded for the next class to begin soon. Numbers of students began to file into the room and she was no longer alone with her Heavenly Father.
“Here you are Shar!” The occasionally perverse Beverly called. “My friends had been looking for you. Why are you cooped up in this stuffy classroom?” She lowered her voice for only Shar to hear. “We could have discussed the boys and parties.”
Held aback at Beverly’s manner, Shar could feel the Holy Spirit stir in her heart as she responded in truth. “Beverly, I am a humble girl and I needed time alone with…” her one second pause gave Beverly the moment to ponder. “With who Shar? What boy were you ogling for yourself?” Her eyes darted over each young man in the room hungrily.
“No.” Shar spoke calmly. “I needed time alone with God.”
Beverly’s gasp was heard throughout the classroom, allowing everyone’s attention on the two girls’ discussion. She laughed in contempt and spoke loud enough for all to hear, “God can’t be in school.”
“Perhaps in most people’s minds,” Shar responded without thinking, feeling the Lord’s presence magnified inside her. “The truth is, no one can keep God out of school. He lives in me, and I’m in school, therefore God is in this school.” The whole room was silent before Shar continued. “Jesus has promised to never leave me, and I know He doesn’t back away just because I enter a school which ‘forbids’ Him. You can try to take God out of things like school, but He isn’t going to be swayed. I walk with Him each day, and no one can take Him away from me. He can live in you too. And that’s the truth, pure and simple.”
A few tears glistened in the eyes of her fellow scholars and the teacher stood dumbfounded near his desk when Shar finished speaking. It didn’t take courage to witness as she had, but it took faith. Faith in God that when she was challenged, that He would guide her words. He promised, and He delivered.
Shar had intended upon planting seeds on the farm that first day of school, as it happened, she ended up planting more in school than she’d ever know. “Seeds that need nurturing to grow,” Shar prayed later. “Water those tender seeds Lord, and someday, they’ll be given the chance to grow and flourish, in You.”