God's Classes

There are many "classes" that are offered in the
school of life.  As a believer, I choose
to trust that every part of my life can yield good fruit if I follow the
teacher!  Learning to make choices:
school, career, friends are all part of life lessons.  I think God uses our life experiences to
teach us His ways.   In the book of
Deuteronomy, the Israelites were instructed to teach their children His
commandments.   And you must commit
yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that i am giving you today.
Repeat them again and again to your children.  Talk about them when you
are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when
you are getting up. Deut 6;7
  As our heavenly Father, I believe He
wants to do the same for us, no matter what we are doing He wants to bring
instruction to our life. 

 

Some we eagerly sign up for...seeking them disappointed if our
name isn't included in the roster.  Things like marriage, parenthood, job
promotion or new hobbies and excitement.  We can call them dreams or
goals.  Most young people have a desire to meet that special someone,
settle down and raise a family.  I know I grew up expecting to have that
as a part of my life story.  Even though I married later in life than the
average person around me (don't laugh, I was 24) we were blessed.

 

 As a child I actually
entered into a pre-marriage class by watching my parents and those of my
friends..  My parents struggled in their relationship and actually
divorced after 43 years of marriage.  This definitely let me know marriage
wasn't easy   However I still was
unprepared for how many "lessons" I could learn by walking as two
instead of one  Learning how to love one another, to prefer one another,
to respect one another are all part of God's lessons he helps us learn through
the marriage class.

 

Graduate to parenting?  Oh my...this really is where you
discover how self-absorbed or should I say selfish you are?  When they
place this special little bundle in your arms the realization that this baby is
dependent upon you can be overwhelming.  The opportunity to grow in trust,
wisdom and decision making is monumental--from co-sleeping, breast or bottle
feeding it grows to public school, home school, private...all choices that need
careful conversation and wisdom.  How thankful we have the Holy Spirit who
says we can come to him for His wisdom any time we need it!  The Dad says,
but I was raised this way.  Mom says who would ever do that?
Problems and growth opportunities to seek Him abound.  When Darryl
and I became a couple, the Lord said to me that we would have very few storms
from within, we would have many from the outside, but they would only drive us
closer together.  We learned early, " it wasn't what I wanted, it
wasn't what he wanted, but it was what the Lord wanted that mattered.  We
learned, in this marriage and parenting school to learn to pray and listen to
each other.  Great lessons we didn't always pass!  But, there would
always be another lesson to try again prepared by life and our great God.

 

There are other classes or schools life and the Lord enroll us
in.  They are the ones nobody wants to sign up for--financial struggles, devastating
illness, child born with special needs, or perhaps the flunking of the marriage
school so divorce happens.  I see them as ''graduate level" courses.
They can seem random, but they don't catch Him off guard.  God has a
plan and a solution for us to learn much from these opportunities.  As I
help home school my grandchildren, some days they come eager to learn with
obedient, "yes, grandma" enthusiasm.  Other days, I have to
admit they come with less than stellar attitudes.  Those days are still
opportunities to learn, both for me as the teacher, and they as the student.
As enrolled students of these advanced classes we can either approach
them with grace and expectation, or we can kick and scream "I don't want
to learn how to be a single mom, dad or a widow or how to parent a special
needs child."  

 

My graduate level class started with becoming a caregiver for
Darryl.  How to walk with joy, how to care for someone who didn't speak
who had been my teammate and life partner, who was now dependent on me to care
for him.  I learned how tiring it is, how small a world can become and how
to rejoice with others who are living the life you would like to live!
Life lessons that I am still learning, but ones I can begin to appreciate
how to better help others.

 

Another graduate level class was when I "graduated" to
widow.  Darryl's heavenly graduation day was four years ago today.  I
thought since he was so diminished after his stroke that I had already a jump
on dealing with grief. Boy was I wrong!  This is a class you seem to enter
and a become a lifelong learner..  As I talk with others, they seem to agree.
Even those, who have re-married still struggle with missing their former
spouse.   I've learned a lot from this class as well.  I've
especially learned about dark places and how the Comforter can show up unexpectedly.
I've learned how much He loves me when I don't feel useful or productive,
or even through the depressed times.  I've learned how to use His Word,
His Family and HIs worship to seek HIs will, His way and learn to accept my new
normal.

 

God is a faithful teacher and desires to help us learn through
every season of our life.  It is not just learning for ourselves, but
learning so we can help others.  I think the Holy Spirit loves it when we
set up "study groups" to help each other at each level.
Remember, no one graduates from these classes with a 4.0. Some days I
don't even think its pass/fail.  It is just a place to learn how to lean,
learn and enjoy our Savior.  He cares so
much for us; He wants us to mature in His ways. 
There is no competition on which class we find ourselves.  I like to think it is a one room school house
of other years, where the older ones helped the younger.  The younger encouraged the older.  Let’s help each other graduate, OK?