“After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer.'” – Mark 9:28-29 NIV
I want to be honest in admitting to you that when I am struggling to manage my classroom and maintain order it is hard for me to feel I have something of value to share with others as a soucre of encouragement. That is the posture I found myself at the beginning of this school year, my second year returning to the classroom. 19 years served as an educator, nominated for a 1st year teacher’s award, recognized by one of my former students as one of 2 most influential educators in her academic career upon her graduation from college and I felt worthless and humiliated, frustrated, limited and dissatisfied. Those were just some of the feelings I identified and recorded in my journal since August 2011. Needless to say, There were major challenges I was facing in and outside the classroom personally and professionally that contributed to those feelings, but looking back it was the struggle in accepting being in the classroom again that was the preemminent source of my frustration. I share this thought with you, because I learned a long time ago through this passage in Mark 9, illuminated to me during my private devotional time, that the way I operate in my classroom as a Christian should bring about results.
The disciples, mentioned in Mark 9:28, found themselves in a place of humiliation too, because they failed to accomplish a task they had been given authority over to fulfill by their Master. A father (parent) had brought his son (student) to the disciples (Christian teacher) hoping they could help him with his concerns for his son. The disciples, however, were insufficient in their power (ability) to help the concerned father, but had experienced success previously with circumstances such as this. Because of this, the father (parent) approaches Jesus, but by the tone of his statement his petition carries with it some doubt since the disciples were impotent in dealing with the condition of the father’s son. Jesus addresses the father’s disposition about His ability to remedy the son’s condition by reminding the father that the condition will be resolved by faith through grace. Jesus also chastises the disciples for their inability to resolve what they had been given authority to accomplish. At the conclusion of this crisis, the disciples inquire as to why they were insufficient in their ability to help the father and we see the discourse highlighted by today’s scripture reference.
I am not suggesting that as a Christian teacher I will be able to resolve and solve all problems my students face who enter my classroom. What I have learned, however, is that as a Christian educator I have access to power beyond myself to aid, help and support me in my classroom to manage it and maintain order. It is the Christian that lays claim to having power, love, joy and peace through the divine nature of God living within us and the promise of the fulfillment of miracles by the divine power of the Creator of the heavens and earth afforded to us through prayer. Who better to handle today’s student than the Christian educator? Like the disciples, are we asking God why we’re not experiencing the power we need to make a difference and listening for His reply?
May God grant you grace, wisdom and power to teach, influence and inspire learning as you seek Him sincerely to allow Him to work in and through you to help your students.