Friday, January 10, 2014

New Mountains to Climb

I am the type of person who enjoys a good challenge...sometimes.  Perhaps it is because certain things come easy to me.  Often I delight in the personal satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment that follows when I tackle something that isn't quite a piece of cake.  However, in reality, challenges can be more frustrating than I would like to admit, and it would be much easier to stay within my comfort zone, rather than deal with a challenging situation.

When I interviewed in 1985 for what would later end up being my first teaching job, I thought I had wasted my time in driving 240 miles round trip for the interview.  Essentially, it was a one-room school house at a small Baptist church in Missouri.  I could not imagine myself teaching multiple grades in a single classroom, but when they offered the job to me, the Lord led me to accept the position.  I taught grades K-6, 8th, and 10th  (9 different levels) in a school of around 20 students.  Although I did have parent volunteers in my classroom, I was constantly juggling my duties and trying to make sure I met the needs of my students.  It wasn't easy, but it was obvious that God had placed me there. I stayed for two years.  Looking back, I'm not even sure how I managed to do it, and it makes me dizzy just thinking about everything that the job required.  Frequently, I prayed and cried out to God.  Sometimes, I communicated with God through my musical compositions.

"Lord, you've searched my heart.
You know every part.
You know me so well.
You know me.
When I feel ashamed,
Lord, you lay no blame.
You love me so well.
You love me.

And it's such a mystery.
What do you see in me?
There must be something
That I can do for you.

Use me.  Lord, please use me.
And through me, may others know you, too.
Lord, you know I want to be used by you."

--a portion of the lyrics from "Use Me" (copyright 1985 by Marcia Day Brown)

Currently, as I am looking at my responsibilities coming up in my new position as a center director for a mathematics learning center, I feel overwhelmed at times when I realize how much I need to learn to perform my duties successfully.  Panic can easily set in and bring worry and stress.  However, when I remember what God has helped me to accomplish in the past, I know he will guide and direct me in my present situation.  I need not be anxious about anything, and when I do begin to feel stressed, I only need to remind myself of Philippians 4:6:  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (NIV)

It's comforting to know that my heavenly father does not want me to worry.  He wants me to come to him with each and every need.  Big or small--it doesn't matter.  He cares about meeting each need, if I am willing to ask.

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