I begin by acknowledging the fact that I am spoiled. In the field of elementary education, I feel I have about the best job you could ask for. I teach at a Christian school and the Lord has given me an amazing class. My first 21 new friends in Louisville were these kiddos, as strange as that may sound. They work HARD and I push them HARD and they are learning so much.
But sometimes, as all teachers of any sort can affirm, it is the teacher that learns the most. This rings true if you teach at a summer camp, preach from the pulpit (men), or when you teach your own children.
I am the one who brushes up on long division, Civil War facts, verb-transitive, etc. What always surprises me is how much I learn from them about the Lord. I come home with all sorts of stories for Dustin. It shouldn't surprise me. The Lord Jesus Himself really values children throughout Scripture.
Anyway, a long introduction to a thought for your day:
I was teaching through Acts 7 last week and we were discussing persecution and the martyrdom of Stephen. I assigned a small activity. They were to write a card to an imaginary Christian who was being severely persecuted in China. I wanted them to keep in mind the story of Stephen to encourage the person. We discussed how this story in-depth and how we aren't always promised safety and comfort in this world. Long story short, I'm sitting here grading after school and some of their letters held a childlike encouragement that I wanted to pass along...
Here are some excerpts:
In Acts 7:51, Stephen will not give up his faith even if it means he's going to die.
... God has planned this in your life for a reason.
We will continually pray that you will not lose faith in the Lord.
Stephen is a wonderful example because he loved his enemies and prayed for them.
Stephen gave an amazing speech to the whole Sanhedrin! If God gave him the power to do that, then surely he will provide teh power to stand up for your faith!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding...
and the line that stuck out to me the most because it's oh so true...
You are brave. I have not tasted true persecution, as you have...