‘If you don’t quit, you win’

[notice]Musings around children’s ministry. Reflections on week 7 of a 10 weeks teaching stint.[/notice]

Every morning after assembly I have some time with my register class before we get down to our maths to speak into their lives. They love it when I read from the Bible so I chose Ephesians as our point of departure this week. The first stop was the armour of God. With the visual aid of my ‘armour of God’ charm bracelet made by Soekie Krog I went through each part of the armour explaining what each one was.

The other fun devotion was when we did Ephesians 3:20. The learners closed their eyes and imagined their best life and I encouraged them that the Lord wants to give His children even more than their best dream. I told them that He works through us and in us to make us live the way He’s planned for us. The only thing is that we must let Him lead us and allow Him to work within us.

One morning this week, I was in the middle of one of these devotion sessions when the parents of two of my problem children dropped by the school. I was encouraged to see them come to the school and talk to us about their boys. My flesh wanted to yell at them and complain about all the horrible things their children had done in my class. It turns out that I didn’t have to- another teacher who’d had more exposure to them launched into a full account of their behaviour and unwillingness to work! I produced their maths books and showed the parents how their sons literally had a practice of writing the date, the heading and then one example before ruling off and messing around. I explained to them that while I do go around and check that the learners are really working, with 52 children in the class I can only do so much, they have to learn how to control themselves and get on with their work.

Kneeling in apology
The parents were so grateful that we had called them in and promised to watch over their children’s school work more vigilantly. But while we were all in the staff room together with the two boys sheepishly looking down (bravery dissipated for the moment) the parents made the learners apologise to us. One mother told the boys to kneel and apologise. It made us (the educators) uncomfortable but as I looked upon the crying, quaking boy before me I was moved by the humility of that posture. Even though a part of me thought that by break time the two boys would be back to their antics, I genuinely forgave them and agreed to start on a new slate. It made me think of how our Heavenly Father unconditionally forgives us every time we return to Him after sinning. He sees us through the blood of Christ- healed and whole.  Like the prodigal son’s father, while I am prattling on about my unworthiness, He puts a robe around me, and a ring on my finger and pulls me into His arms.

As my colleague pointed out it was an awkward feeling to be knelt in front of, but it was such a poignant picture to me of my own repentance before the Father. In that moment I wanted to show those boys the mercy that Abba Father shows me daily. I wanted to welcome them into my arms and let them know that I believed in them. The deputy headmistress told the boys that the Lord had blessed them with intelligence and that they should honour their gift. When we got back to the classroom I reinforced her message and told them that there was greatness in them and that at their age they could change the world.

So as we wrap up the week I am so pleased to say that those two boys are working hard and finishing their work on time. I couldn’t believe it when one of them came up to tell me he was done and wanted to know what was next! Praise the Lord. It is these little victories that encourage me to continue speaking the Word into their lives. Like I said last week, all my clever strategies and plans have come up to nothing. But see how the sweet Words of the Lord have turned two precious little boys around in such a short time!

Misty Edwards from the International House of Prayer- KC said about our walk with the Lord, “If you don’t quit you win”. So dearest reader, I don’t know what you’re going through but don’t quit, it’s a win if you don’t.  Just keep turning up to be used by the Lord, even on the days when you don’t want to (or in my case when the learners are too rowdy to teach and you want to give up and go home). Just keep turning up because the Lord uses people like you and me to be a difference in other’s lives, and he can use two sobbing little boys to teach us more about His unfailing love.

One Comment

  1. I have a lumpy throat