Teachers: Do you ever find yourself “bursting at the seams” before you enter the classroom? Are you bursting because your mind and heart have been so excited, moved, and transformed by what you have feasted on through the Word during the week that you just can’t wait to share it with the children?
One of my great joys in teaching children biblical truth is how the Lord uses the time spent in lesson preparation to feed my own soul. Case in point: This past week I taught a lesson on the happiness of God. Here is just a tiny sampling of the spiritual feast I received from one of the passages in the lesson:
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it…May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, (Psalm 104:24-26, 31)
I began pondering the “teeming” masses of creatures that God has made, creatures created as an overflow of His happiness. I even watched a beautiful video, set to music, of sea creatures—little fish who have heads and bodies shaped like horses, “clown fish” and fish that look more like flying saucers, dolphins in endless splashing and playing...and on and on. My amazement grew and grew as I considered how each and every creature testified to the blessed God! Then I reflected on the creatures that God has placed in my own backyard—the raccoon who sneaks around our house at night like a bandit. Lo and behold, God created him with a face that appears to have a mask—just like an old-fashioned bandit. Imagine the happiness of a God who would do that!
More and more, I meditated on the verses and truths presented in the lesson—my joy in God growing and growing. The things of earth, which bring some measure of happiness, grew less important. The day before I was to teach, this verse kept coming to mind:
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
The happy God has made a path whereby we can be swept up into His presence and enjoy His infinite, all-satisfying happiness forevermore! All glory be to Christ! Therefore, when I entered the classroom, I was bursting.
So teachers, make every effort to feed your souls to the bursting point before you teach—even if it is simply meditating deeply and prayerfully on a single verse from your lesson. See how the truth is meant to transform your mind and heart. Take time to worship God as you prepare your lesson! And then pray earnestly that God be pleased to do what He alone can do in the lives of these children, so that they, too, will someday be bursting with fullness of joy in Christ.