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The “Only Haves”

Posted by on September 1, 2018

We’ve officially begun another year of school here at Grace. I enjoyed my summer, with the kids home and the extra family time, but I realize how much I thrive on routine. It feels good to be back in the classroom, spending time with my three little students and looking for new ways to teach old things. The start of another school year also means I will be writing regularly for the Christian education inserts we put in our bulletins, and I’ll be sharing some of those here.

I’ve spent all too much time lately trying to force my plans through instead of trusting that the Lord is in control. His plans don’t always align with mine, obviously, because He is all-knowing and I, clearly, am not. I want to see our school filled to bursting, but it’s not. I want to serve new families in our community through our preschool, but so far, I’m not. It confuses me at times and sometimes I want to ask God, What’s the plan here?  The following article was born from these struggles and thoughts. It’s given me great peace to “take my hands off of my life” and give God control (as Tenth Avenue North would say).

My prayer is that you would find peace as well, in whatever struggle you are currently facing. May we all trust the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

So. It’s been a year. One year since we opened the doors to our Christian day school. In that time, I’ve fielded the same question over and over from family, friends, and fellow CLC members and it goes something like this: “How is your school doing?” I would pause, sometimes a little too long, before saying, “Pretty good. We only have eight students, but it’s a start.”

I said it like an apology. Like I had to explain that we know we can’t “compete” or “compare” to the other schools in Sleepy Eye, or even the other Christian schools within our small synod, but maybe someday. Maybe someday we will be a respectable school, with a respectable number of students, in a newer and updated facility. Maybe someday we will have what those other schools have: the latest technology, our own sports team, music and drama classes, a fully stocked art room, our own bus…and the list goes on. Maybe someday we will be “good enough” but for now we “only have”.

Over the summer months, God has had me rethinking this attitude. There is no minimum number of students needed before nurturing a young soul is worth it. What does it matter if we have 6 students or 60? It doesn’t change what we have been called to do, or make it more or less important. Then, just a few days ago, I was reading through 1 Corinthians chapter 4. In this chapter Paul is telling the Church how complete they are in Christ. He says, “You are already rich! You are already full!”

I suddenly thought of our small school in a new way. We are already everything we need to be in Christ. We are not lacking in anything that really matters. The same can be said of each one of us, members of Grace Lutheran Church, who have been so blessed to know our Savior and who are now called to comfort each other in that truth and share that good news with our community. We are already rich, already full. Not someday. Right now.

You know, maybe we are the Only Haves after all. We “only have” been called “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1). We “only have” this amazing opportunity. We “only have” been blessed with saving faith. We “only have” a congregation of believers who are committed to supporting Christian education. We “only have” the truth of God’s Word to guide us, His Son to cover our sins, and His Spirit to strengthen us. We “only have” everything we need.

As we begin another year of preschool and elementary school here at Grace, please join me in praying for the Lord’s blessing to be in our midst. May we stay faithful in our work and walk worthy of the calling which God has called us (Ephesians 4:1).

3 Responses to The “Only Haves”

  1. Cathy C. Hall

    So true, Deb. You only have to do God’s work this day, whatever it is; the future will take care of itself! ♥

  2. Laura Stewart

    I love this! We only have everything we need….perfect! I know those three students are blessed to have you as their teacher.

  3. Linda O'Connell

    I remember years ago when I worked in the public school. I posted signs on irridescent pink paper advertising for students because our enrollment was at five. I placed posters on street corners, at playgrounds, trying to do it MY way, but God showed me he had other plans. I was contacted by a woman trying to set up a preschool who knew me by my first name and reputation only. I know you are Miss Linda and I am looking for a preK teacher who everyone says is dynamic. All of the Catholic families send their children to you. Would you like to talk?” I did and for the next ten years I impacted many students especially special needs kids. Whether its three or twenty, know YOU make a difference.

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