Weights That "Could" Crush Us
I've been able to work with kids and students for about 15 years now. In that time I've attended seminars, conferences and classes that have helped me better understand how to teach, discipline, and train them (depending on the age) in what is right and wrong. I definitely don't always get things perfect and I am way more laid back than I was a decade and a half ago.
I know that kids learn more from what I do and how I react to things than the "lessons" I purposefully teach them.
I know kids are always watching so when I mess up, even if its just getting frustrated at something stupid, I need to admit my failure and explain that everyone makes mistakes but we still should always do our best.
I know the more time I spend with them the more they will look up to me and emulate what I do... and that is a weight that could crush me if I let it and didn't rely of the Spirit to guide me. Even knowing all this, I still get taken off guard from time to time when I hear something come out of one of my little one's mouth that had recently been on mine. Growing up in a home with parents who loved God, it is just natural for Him to come up in conversations and stories. This can also be said of the kids I work with. I don't do a lot of structured Bible lessons, but when I'm having a hard time getting the top my jeep on and I am so frustrated I want to cuss but I know I can't because there is a precious 3 year old watching me who I pray never has to struggle with a potty mouth like I have had to... So with little eyes watching, I am easily reminded that I too have a Heavenly Daddy who is watching out for me. I ask Jesus to help me get the stubborn zipper on the window on so my little girls won't freeze. Then of course in addition to helping with the zipper, The One Who Loves Me Best also brings His peace and assurance that He indeed does hear my prayers and moves heaven on my behalf. He indeed does want me to bring every need to Him. And in that split second where I am again reminded that my Savior loves me, I hear a little voice from the car seat behind the plastic window say, "Why did you say a prayer?" At that a door is opened and I can explain the beauty of how we can ask God for anything and He always hears. And there are many times He doesn't do what we want Him to but we can trust Him and know He is listening and doing things for our benefit. Then there was the day when leaving the preschool parking lot and a minivan didn't see us and we almost ended up with her bumper attached to the side of my jeep. The side where one of my precious girls sits, and although my car is pretty much a tank, I was shaken up at the thought of any harm coming to this precious one I have grown to love so much. But in the end the woman stopped and we were all OK. After pulling over and assuring the even more shook up woman that mistakes happen and we're fine and there's nothing to worry about, I thanked God for keeping us safe. Which prompted a, "Why did you just pray?" from the back seat. I was able to explain how God kept us safe and that every good thing that happens is a gift from God. Fast forward 3 hours, we're at the park and are talking to a mom and her daughter and all of a sudden my precious girl starts telling them of the white car that almost hit us but she didn't because God kept us safe... wow. All I can say is my heart smiles at how this little girl takes what I tell her at face value and in the long run these truths of God's goodness will affect her life for the better... And I am reminded of the weight and heaviness that comes with taking care of little ones. My influence on her is so great, and if I didn't know I could trust God to guide me, I would be buried beneath this responsibility. Trusting God not only plays a role in me being able to teach the young ones, but also with the older ones I work with. I am currently able to meet with an AMAZING group of young men and women who have, in the past made some wrong decisions. Each week I look forward to getting to know them better, and honestly many of their stories break my heart. The hurdles these high school students have already had to face are so painful and for many, so constant. Each week I find myself tearing up because they are so young and have dealt with so much. It's just not fair. It just sux. God, why have you allowed this? God, why... But in the end I am comforted by the fact that God loves these precious ones too as much as He loves any of His created ones. And He has a story of redemption written for their future. He reminds me of when I was in the midst of my dark times, others cried out to Him, "Why?" on my behalf... He has a story written for little ones I work with... He has a story of redemption for the students whose hearts already bare the scars of living in a fallen world... He has, as the song says, the whole world in His hands. And He is good... So we do not have to go through life worrying about all the mistakes we "could" make. We don't have to live each day with hearts crippled with burden for those who are walking through hard times. We can trust all things to the heart of the One Who Loves Us Most and know that He is working things out, even in the pain.