So lately I've been claiming a song as a prayer. Can you do that? I hope so, because I am.
I've come to realize that in the end there's only so much I can do for my students. I can reward them and punish them. I can threaten and cajole. I can try to inspire their curiosity and rouse their interest. I can listen and care; advise and guide. I can plead with them and I can pray with and for them. But in the end, I cannot save them. Only God can do that. It's hard to accept that there is only so much you can do. You don't want to lose a single one, and it's hard when you think you might. I've got a couple students right now that I'm really struggling with. Today, in particular, I drove him feeling a pretty down. And then that song I'd been claiming came up on my ipod. . ."Savior, He can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save. . ." I wasn't feeling it so much at that moment, but I decided that just because I wasn't feeling it, didn't make it any less true. He is mighty to save, and He alone can do what I cannot--reach a life where hope seems lost and turn it around. And so once again, I claimed, sang, prayed, that song for my troubled students, believing that Jesus can move the mountains in their life.
And tonight on that drive home, as I lifted my current students up in prayer, I thought of one of my former students, also going through a tough time though in quite a different way. I talked with her for a long time on the drive to work the other day, and I ended the conversation feeling as if I'd done little good. I wanted so much to really encourage her and make things better for her, and I didn't know how to do that. Once, again I had that horrible, helpless feeling we teachers sometimes get--the feeling that we can't do what we want to do most of all--make a difference. And so I turned once again to the only one who can make a difference--the Author of salvation, the One powerful enough to conqueor even the grave, and lifted my former student to Him as well.
I can't save my students, as much as I want to. But I know Who can, and so I turn to Him, every day.
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