God’s Ways Are Always the Best Ways!

It came as a big surprise! She asked me if I was still looking for help in my Sunday School class. I excitedly answered, “Yes!” as I had been running an announcement in the bulletin seeking a ‘helper’ for the Middle School Class. I was hopeful that I might get someone to fill in the gap one Sunday a month. This wasn’t the first time I’d tried to find another volunteer for the class, but it had been awhile. So, when this gal actually asked if I still needed help I was almost in disbelief. (Why do we do that when God answers our prayers?)

I have no doubt that she heard the excitement in my response, and we continued a conversation about the class and the kids. Within a couple of minutes, however, I was confused and the conversation seemed a bit awkward. (Were we talking about the need for a class helper, or did this gal want to actually teach the class?) Sensing my confusion, she backed off quickly saying something to the effect that “If I wasn’t ready to give up the class, she didn’t want to intrude.” Oh my! Now what do I say?

I wanted to jump up and down right there in the sanctuary! But, I contained my mounting excitement and tentatively asked, “So, were you interested in taking on the role of teacher for the class? I had actually been looking for a helper one Sunday a month, but I am definitely open to someone taking over the class - as I had signed up as an interim teacher ten years ago.” (Yep, that’s not a typo. Ten years!) After a bit more conversation, we were both on the same page, and we were both excited! We decided she’d try the class out for a few weeks and see what she thought. At that point, if she was still on board, we’d make it official.

It’s bit over six months now and the class is going great. I’ve checked in with the new teacher once in a while, and she is thriving in her new ministry! The kids adapted very easily and never even missed me – well, maybe for a week or two. (At least, I tell myself that!) Oh, but what a blessing for all involved!
  • The new teacher had been being 'recruited' to teach women, but God knew she'd thrive with the pre-teens!
  • I had willingly signed on as a temporary teacher a decade earlier, but God had given me peace to enjoy teaching rather than providing a replacement.
  • The kids, well they are being well taken care of. They are being loved. They are being taught God's Word. They are feeling very special.
  • It’s a win, win for everyone!

I’m so thankful for the years I taught this class. I was able to connect with many young people, and I’ve since enjoyed watching them graduate from high school and college - and some have even gotten married! I never was really embittered by the fact that I was a ‘long-term’ interim. Instead, I did my best to be faithful to the Word of God and present it in a fun and interactive way. I loved getting to know the kids and challenged them with some of the hard realities of life, balanced with the fact that God loved them no matter what!

And now, I am so thankful to see God work in the life of this teacher. A gal I had the privilege to disciple. A gal I call friend. A gal who is kind and genuinely cares about these kids. A gal who has a solid understanding of the Bible and wants to share God’s love with them. Now, she will have the blessing of watching them grow from boys to men, from young giggly girls to beautiful young women. Oh, what joys are in store for her!

I love how God brought all this together. In His time, and in His unexpected way! I can’t imagine not having taught these great kids. In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself during the Sunday School hour. But, I’m not worried about it as each week has had a little extra blessing in it. And, who knows what God has around the corner for me. All I need to know now is that He is able, and I can trust Him…over and over again!

Are you serving in an unexpected 'temporary' position or do you find yourself regularly filling in gaps to help make Sunday run more smoothly for your husband? If so, you are in good company. For many pastors' wives, we have lived through these seasons of life and ministry where you just 'Make it Work.' And, at the end of the day you hopefully are able to say ‘Thank you, God!’ You move forward and trust Him to give you the energy to do what you need to do, bow out when you need to bow out and hang on when you need to hang on. Solomon was so right when he said ‘There is a time for everything.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1) May we each seek God’s guidance as we determine what ‘time’ it is and what ‘season of activity’ He has given for us to do today.

Dear Heavenly Father,
There are so many demands pulling on our lives. May we hear Your voice clearly as You direct us to Your will and purposes in our life. May we be willing vessels to sacrifice ourselves for the purpose of serving others and sharing the hope of the Gospel. Give us courage to trust You and be willing participants in Your plan. May we be faithful in the midst of the unknowns of life. Help us refuse to give into the temptation of feeling unappreciated and overlooked. Rather, help us to embrace a positive attitude in all circumstances knowing that You have laid out a path before us and Your purposes are trustworthy. May we trust in Your perfect timing and Your holy ways. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of Your process, Lord. We are humbled to be used by You, and for Your glory. Amen.   

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