On sunday the sermon was about the movie/book, Unbroken.
Yup. You heard me right. We have been in a movie series entitled Reel Grace in which we discuss the gospel messages reflected in popular movies of today.
It’s a very interesting and challenging series. (Here is a link to the sermon videos if you are interested in the series).
This week really spoke to me as I prepare to begin another year of teaching online. It reminded me to have the right perspective. It reminded me to endure.
Because, honestly, sometimes i don’t want to. I want to wallow in self-pity and the unfairness of it all. I start to give in to fear and anxiety and wonder how on earth I will survive this coming school year.
One of the points was that “Humankind is created with great potential to endure”. I was reminded that we must all endure something and not only that, but that we are all CALLED to endure something. Isn’t that the truth? We all have some version of “hard” that we are enduring.
Thinking of this test of endurance as a calling changes things a bit. It convicts and motivates.
Romans 5:35 tells us, “3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
This is something I need to remember as I begin another year of teaching. I have been dreading it for a number of reasons.
- I’m teaching 5 classes (1.5 hours each). In addition are many hours of lesson planning and grading.
- I am the lead teacher for both classes, which requires many extra hours of work.
- I will be having a baby in the middle of the teaching year and I often resent having to teach rather than simply snuggling my newborn.
- I am unable to participate in my church’s women’s Bible study because I teach during that time.
Sometimes I am very bitter over the fact that any “free” time that I have is dedicated to this job, so cleaning and projects and rest go undone. But, #4 is one of the hardest for me to fight jealously and bitterness on. i struggled at first with understanding why God would allow my schedule to conflict with Bible study. I mean, that’s a godly activity, right?! I struggle with jealously of all the other women who can go and don’t have to work. I struggle with jealousy over the fact that they will be hanging out and talking and building relationships, while I suffer on alone.
I try really hard to build community and plan reading groups and other things in order to fill this hole of mentorship and fellowship in my life, but for some reason if often doesn’t work out. I know after our third child is born there will be a season where Bible study is exactly at nap time and i will be unable to attend, so i was really hoping to join this year. Oh how I could use one day of week at church with coffee already made for me and worship and encouragement and prayer and community, and I better stop talking about it or I might cry.
But, for some reason, this is what I am being called to endure. To work. To teach online (which is a huge blessing). I am going to strive to accept this challenge. To endure well. To rejoice. To hope.
When I look at all these challenges and what I am missing out on and all the things we need and can’t afford even though I work, then I feel like giving up.
But, when I focus on the blessing of what we have and the blessing of a job that allows me to work at home with free childcare, then I think, “What a miracle!”
This is a tough season of motherhood and working and growing, but my prayer is that I will accept the calling and that I will endure with grace.
Pray for me?
What are you being called to endure right now? How can I pray for you?