Relinquishing Control in the Midst of Chaos
Here at Teach 4 The Heart, we took a survey about what teachers needed most from us during this time of uncertainty. Many teachers were desperate for advice for how to learn to teach online, steps to finding the best curriculum, or ways to manage our time now that we have gone from in-school teachers to online-content specialists, Youtube/Zoom/Flipgrid stars, childcare providers, cooks, and housekeepers all at once.
Those needs are very real.
I am carefully going through my own piles of learning materials, trying to remember what websites have current free memberships, doing my best not to snap at my own two precious children from stress, making sure I get enough exercise, sleep, and water, and verifying I have called my grandparents and my mom daily, while making sure my home feels clean enough to live in, since we are not allowed to leave it.
However, while I was reading and praying over the results from the surveys, I noticed a deeper need. It was something that stood out to me so glaringly, perhaps because it was something I was struggling with, too. If there was any way I could get away with not bringing it to your attention, I would just skip it, but I know we need to talk about it. You are not going to like it. I don't like it either.
The surveys revealed over and over that we wanted control. I saw comments like:
- How am I supposed to make sure Johnny turns in all his paperwork now?
- How am I going to make sure students are not cheating on tests?
- What about students who do not have the internet?
- How will I be sure all the progress we made will not fall to pieces?
- How will I make sure my students are eating?
- I want to know when life will return to normal.
So many of these concerns come from a place of deep love and truly caring for our students. And that is good. But, friends, we need to remember that God loves our students even more than we do. When we choose to care so much that we try to control things that do not belong in our hands, I am not sure that we are very loving anymore.
Take a deep breath. It is not our job to control anything. Or anyone. God is in control. In fact, Ephesians 1:22 talks about how “God has put all things under the authority of Christ.” We don’t have to be able to explain everything or give all the answers: that job belongs to Jesus.
Let’s think about it this way: Have you ever been explaining an assignment, and you ask your students to hold their questions until the end because you just want to make sure the details are well explained before you are interrupted? I often tell my students, “Pull out a piece of paper, and write down your question. If it is not answered by the time I am done explaining, I will be thrilled to answer any question that is remaining.” Do you know what happens? Almost every time, someone tries to raise their hand and ask a question before I am done. I remind them, "Trust me. Write down your question. If it is not answered, you will have a chance to ask.”
Write your questions down. Journal what you are feeling. But, don’t demand to know answers before God is ready to answer them. Be still and trust His goodness (Psalm 46:10). Keep your eyes open for the blessings. Think about all the great and praiseworthy things that are happening even in the midst of this chaos. Maybe turn OFF the news (Philippians 4:8). Be open to growing and learning at this time. James 1:2-5 promises times of trials where we become mature and complete, not lacking anything. I don’t know about you, but I really had needed to grow my Flipgrid and Nearpod skills. And, I had become maybe a little too dependent on people instead of Jesus. Perhaps, just perhaps, God really IS working things out for our good? (Romans 8:28)
We know the Bible tells us that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Are you feeling afraid of the future? What can you do right now to just sit in God’s perfect love?
Can you and your family make a mini-miracle list? Or a mega-miracle list? And keep track of all the ways you have seen God work during your quarantine? Or the ways you smiled today?
You cannot control what happens to you, friend.
But, you do have the power to control how you respond. And, just in case you forgot, if you are a believer of Christ, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. And He provides us with the same power that raised Jesus from up from the grave! (Romans 8:10) He will give you everything you need to respond properly- if only you relinquish your control and turn to Him.
Which brings me to the last point: Has any of this chaos made you cry out to God more? Have you noticed maybe you need more of Him? Maybe you have realized just how much you need Jesus in your life.
No matter who you are or how you feel about this situation, Jesus is here for you. He loves you. The Bible tells us so (John 3:16). Sometimes it’s easier to trust Jesus if we go back to the simple truths. Do you need help with that? Reach out to us!
Or perhaps this is the first time you are hearing of God’s great love for you. In that case, if you do not know Jesus, and you want to know Him, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to share the hope of Jesus and how we can just simply TRUST in HIM. For today. For tomorrow. And for eternity.
He is in control.
If you need more encouragement and reminders of Biblical truth, check out Teach Uplifted. It is all about how to teach from a place of being connected with the Lord.
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