Spring has finally sprung, and we're heading into the home stretch of the school year. Retirement and resignation letters are being submitted, and there's lots of talk in the teacher's lounge about what will happen in the fall. The future seems uncertain for many, especially in these times of huge school budget cuts.
I've heard lots of teachers wondering aloud about questions like these:
Should I teach or stay home with my kids?
Should I change grade levels?
Should I transfer to another school next year?
Should I stay in the classroom or look for something else?
What will happen if I don't have a job next year?
What is God's will for me next?
And in the midst of these conversations, God has been quietly speaking 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 into my heart:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Did you catch that? THIS is the will of God in Christ Jesus. For you:
Rejoice. Always. Not just when things are easy, or fun, or clearly demonstrating progress toward your goals, or when you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Always.
Pray. Without ceasing. When you're tired and discouraged, pray. When you're content and fulfilled, pray. Keeping praying. And then pray some more. Let your thoughts and words be continually directed toward the Lord so your focus is on Him and not on the world around you.
And lastly--give thanks in ALL circumstances.
You see, God cares about which school we teach at and which grade level we're assigned to, but He's much more concerned with the attitude we have in our circumstances. Our goal during uncertain times should not be to figure out what God's going to do next, but to allow our uncertainty to deepen our faith. God wants us to spend each day not knowing what will happen next, but trusting Him, anyway. He wants us to be filled with the joy and gratitude that come from being in constant communion with Him.
THAT is His will for each of us in Christ Jesus. So no matter what you are facing today, I encourage you to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. Choosing those actions will open your heart and mind so that you can fully receive whatever God has planned for you next.