Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PRAYER FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR



"God's love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him,
  Making everything right for them and their children..." Psalm 103:17, MSG 

Well, it's back-to-school time, and if you're anything like the average parent, you're nervous.  With the new school year comes the inevitable anxiety of the unknowns.  Will this teacher be a good fit for my child?  Will the academics be at an appropriate level?  What battles will we face this school year?  Can we avoid bullying or build friendships?  Is having a good school year too much to ask?

I'm like anyone else who has a child with special needs.  My two with special needs both have new teachers AND new principals!  I wonder if the team will be as cooperative as the ones I had last school year.  And my eldest, who has no special needs now enters high school.  I'm concerned about my adequacy with managing three children in three different schools this year.  The uncertainty that feels like standing on Jell-o always rears its ugly head this time of year.

But it's times like these that we can praise God for His precious promises!  I know that although I'm uncertain, He's not.  He is in full control and able to manage anything that comes at us this year.  He goes before, beside and behind my kids as each of them enter school.  He's there on the job with them even when I'm not.  And He assures me that everything will work out alright when I seek after Him and obey Him.

This may sound like platitudes to those who don't have an intimate relationship with their creator.  After all, there are still problematic instructors and schools lacking programming.  What then?  Where is a loving God at times like this?  We've been there, and I'm here to tell you that we could not have survived those years without the hand of the Lord.  We've had times where, in our humanness, we wanted to just give the teacher an earful, because she was uncooperative and lacked compassion.  But then we were surprised by other staff coming to our aid, pleading our case for us.  We've had times where an unfamiliar diagnosis made the staff more compassionate to a bullying child who had a more familiar challenge they were dealing with.  To our surprise, an outside counselor firmly asserted our rights and helped us survive a rough school year.

My point is this, as the new school year faces each of us, let's keep our eyes fixed on the One who is able to make this a year with much growth and many happy memories.  Let's commit this year to the Lord and trust that it will be one we will be pleasantly surprised by.  Let's remember that worrying will not add one more day to our lives (Matthew 6:27), and instead give praise that He's numbered every hair on our children's heads (Matthew 10:30).  Let's speak with wisdom and kindness to those who serve our offspring in a school setting in order that we might reflect the goodness of our God.  Equipped with these thoughts, our school year can't help but be positive.

Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, I'm nervous about this school year.  I'm uncertain of what lays ahead of us, but You're not.  Go before me and my child(ren) into the school days.  Manage any obstacles we may face.  Help us to handle these with the grace and truth that reflect Your glory to all.  And in Your goodness, make everything work out alright.

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