It’s been a bad week! Actually, it’s been a bad several weeks, so much so that I didn’t even know if I was qualified to write this ReCharge. After all, isn’t the ReCharge supposed to be encouraging, uplifting, and even enlightening to help people focus on the truth of God’s Word? Well, if I had written this a few days before, that’s not what you would have seen! You might even have canceled your subscription for the rest of the year. (Although I don’t think that is possible since there is no paid subscription service) Let me explain. First of all, I had to go to the dentist. Now I know that isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you, after all, he’s just a little man in a white smock that wants to invade your mouth with weapons of mass destruction. Then when he’s all done, he hands you a humongous bill, and says “Have a good day”. That was only the beginning of my woeful week.
HIGH SCHOOL KIDS ARE DIFFERENT
I had also signed up to substitute at a high school. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “I thought you loved subbing for those little bundles of creativity and kindness with their brilliant minds. And didn’t you say you loved it when they would tell you: “You’re the best substitute ever!”. High school kids are different, very different. Their creative minds are involved in figuring out ways they can skip class without the knowledge of the sub, their kindness is to one another, and their brilliant minds……well, they surpassed my second-grade comprehension of “Math Mountain” years ago! (Sorry, it’s a math program) It just wasn’t a good day.
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
What kept going through my mind this week was: Give thanks in all circumstance, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:18) The Apostle Paul instructs us to give thanks in all circumstances, no matter what. Does that mean we have to grit our teeth, while we are mumbling under our breath and thanking God for a “wonderful day”? No, it just means we have to look at circumstances from a different perspective.
ALL THOSE THINGS HAD A PURPOSE
Paul continues the same train of thought: And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called, according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son, that he might be the first born among many brothers. (Romans 8:28-29) The “all things” he mentions here, are the same as the “circumstances” that he mentions in I Thessalonians 5:18. God is using all of these things (“for those who love him”) to develop our Christian character. In other words, all those bad things that happened to me (and I haven’t even mentioned all of them) had a purpose.
GOD DOESN’T STEP AWAY
God doesn’t step away for awhile when we are having a bad day. He doesn’t later rejoin us when things calm down. No, God the Holy Spirit is with us, seven days a week. And even though we may be having a bad day, God is at work, making something out of nothing. While I was complaining about teaching in the high school, God was working on my behalf. I love Him and have been called according to his purpose.
THE END OF THE DAY
At the end of the day, just before I was able to escape that horrible place and run to my car, I stopped in my room. There was a young girl sitting at her desk, all by herself. She said that the teacher allows her to come down to the room and quietly work on her assignments. I asked her a question, then another question, and another. (Anyone who knows me knows I ask a lot of questions). This young woman began to open up about her schoolwork, about her future and about what she wanted to do with life after high school. We were having a normal conversation!
GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
But something else was happening. I realized that God had brought me to that school, on that day, to speak to that young woman. It was a short conversation, but it was a moment that I will remember when God said, Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God. And so, I am trying, I really am, I just wish I didn’t have to go back to the dentist!