Psalm 73: 77-78: Education and Strength

The Lord has given me a passion for education.  I wanted to be a teacher from my first day of school and often subjected my stuffed animals and younger brother to my ministrations.  When a child “gets it,” and you see that a concept has been learned by the sudden bright quickening in her eyes, a nodding of the head, or even a hand slap to the forehead…the world seems new all over again.

I like to think that my background in theater helped me become a better teacher.  I learned through theater how to project my voice.  I learned how to read with expression and how to speak in front of others; these skills served me well in the classroom; now, they serve me well as director of a Classical Conversations homeschool group…and especially as my daughter’s teacher.

I recently purchased a children’s Bible storybook that had been recommended to me by a friend.  My eleven year old is old enough to read the Bible for herself — and she does — but the two of us are enjoying our journey through this storybook.  The writing is skillful.  Every time we have sat down together to read, she begs me to keep reading when we finish a section.  That is the mark of a good book and is one of the many blessings homeschooling has brought to our family.

Today’s Bible reading has a lot to say about education and the lack of it.  Scripture puts the job of educating children firmly in the hands of their parents, particularly instruction about God, from Psalm 78:

we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,

6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.

7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.

Parents who love the Lord have a wonderful opportunity to share their faith with their children.  Sadly, many people of my own generation grew up in the “Me” generation — they  did not attend church.  Their parents were not particularly religious…even those who were raised up in Christian homes drifted away after a wild ride through the 70s and 80s.

There are now entire segments of the population whose only exposure to what it means to be a Christian are snippets they’ve heard on television…most of it wrong and heavily slanted to portray Christians as far-right, gun-toting, racist bigots who hate everyone who is not like themselves and who think they are holier than anyone else.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am so excited to be a part of a church that actively seeks out and welcomes everyone, even those who haven’t stepped foot in church in years or possibly ever.  Jesus came to heal the sick…the physically sick, the mentally sick, the spiritually sick.  He is going to heal me of my anxiety.

Lately I’ve come into contact with several women who have had or are going to have a hysterectomy.  In the past three months, one of my friends had one, another has one scheduled for next month, another told me about hers that she had three years ago, and my doctor suggested that I get one.

Say what?

I don’t know why this is suddenly in my face.  Perhaps so I can offer support and love to these friends?  I am not ready to face that reality in my own life.  But it is interesting to sit back and watch God work, isn’t it?  (Just so long as he doesn’t ask ME to have one!  Please don’t let this be a gentle “easing in” so I can get used to the idea kind of thing, Lord!)

Regardless of what happens with me, I am more than this body.  Another verse from today’s reading gives me hope in this regard, from Psalm 73:

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

The Lord IS my strength.  I need to think about what it means for Him to be my portion.

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