This morning I was reading that famous verse in I Samuel 16:7 " But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'"
The context of this verse is that Samuel, the prophet, is looking for God's annointed king of Israel in the family of Jesse. God has sent him there to annoint the next king. Samuel looks with hope at the taller, older, impressive looking brothers, but God tells him to keep looking. He finally gets to David, the young, ruddy, unimpressive "youth" of the family. He is the one God has chosen. He was to be a man after God's own heart. He was God's annointed who would lead Israel.
There are many eternal truths in this passage: We need to care more about our holiness and sanctification than our physical appearance or popularity. We need to look more closely at Christians in light of their character, not their outward trendiness or popularity. We need to seek God's will in matters, and not make judgments on what appears to be by society's standards or our limited assumptions.
The last point is a hard one, but it is one that has been on my mind as the beginning of the school year looms.
In our nearby school districts, parents are asked not to make teacher requests and each grade level in the public schools has multiple classrooms.
Every year I am tempted to be anxious about my son's teacher placement. Who will be his teacher? Who will he have in his class? The temptation is to worry, worry, worry. Right away, I always realize it is a perfect example of God asking me to trust Him. I see the outward "appearance" of the situation, but God knows all the angles and ramifications.
God loves me and my son, and His sovereign plan will put my son in the class where he needs to be--especially if I take the time to PRAY about it. He might not have the popular, "fun", demonstrative teacher. He might have the almost all girl class (last year), but there is a reason. God isn't concerned with the parents' views or gossip concerning the teacher. He sees the whole picture and puts my son exactly where he needs to be for God's will and plan to unfold in his life.
This doesn't mean I am inactive. If there were a big issue, of course, God wants me to use my wisdom and step in to speak up for my son. However, such an instance is going to be few and far between with class placement. I need to make sure it is a valid reason for intervening and not just a preference or opinion.
I was a teacher for nine years. I am not ignorant that each grade level has a favorite teacher or teachers. I am also not ignorant that certain personalities don't always click. One of my favorite students might have a teacher the next year who doesn't find his humor charming or her artistic doodling on everything a blooming gift. I might get a student that was cherished the year before and who I find disruptive. Teachers do their best and try to love every child, but there will be challenges with 30 personalities in the room. We are all different. There is no perfect teacher for every student, just as there is no perfect student.
So, as a parent, I need to let go of the gossip and popularity contest concerning the teachers. When I get my son's class assignment, I need to trust God has sovereignly and lovingly placed him under that teacher's care for the year ahead. It might be to grow him academically, it might be to have him make a certain friendship, it might be to teach him self control in a less "creative" classroom environment, it might be to PROTECT him from a bad influence in another class, it might be to grow my trust and patience, it might be so our family can minister to that teacher during a difficult year. We don't know. But we are called to trust.
We are also to realize no school year will be perfect. All teachers have bad days. All kids misbehave sometimes. All classrooms will have some behavior issues. All teachers have strengths and weaknesses. Be humble. Be realistic. Be dependent on God for strength to traverse the year with righteousness.
So, Christian women, as the school year begins and we all go find out our child's teacher, don't fret or worry about being in the "right" class. Pray about it ahead of time. Ask God to put your child in the right class--one that lines up with God's will, not the chitter chatter of the PTA moms. Don't let the gossip or feedback from other parents get you down. Smile and thank God for caring about every detail--right down to the teacher your child will have. Then go meet your teacher and tell him or her that you are thankful God assigned them to your child for the year ahead.
Philippians 4:6-7 "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."