Sometimes the days are all blue skies and sunshine, fluffy white clouds and a fine fragrance borne on the breeze. Sometimes your home school looks exactly like one of those curriculum catalogs in which the respectful, eager student is cuddled next to Professor Mom on the couch, and smiles are more abundant than raindrops in spring. Sometimes your extended family exemplifies love and forgiveness, and all is well with the world.
And sometimes not.
Here we are, not even a half-dozen Hebrew letters into our acrostic and the world erupts into a zillion disordered bits of chaos and disconnectedness — or at least my little corner of it has. Suddenly, there is no hiding the reality of the sin nature. It is there, vivid and angry, breathing hot breath right into your face and daring you to deny its existence.
For me, last week was one of those that leaves you feeling helpless, useless, and empty of purpose. An already rotten home school year seemed to come to some sort of appalling climax. An incident involving my extended family escalated into a full-blown conflict, and my heart was broken many times over in so many ways I cannot even begin to list them even if I were so inclined.
Yet despite the horribleness of everything, I know my Rock is still there. Still, the week was a distressing reminder of how much I have yet to learn in following my King. I find myself crying out every day, “Teach me, O Lord!”
For the matters here at home, I have done a lot of soul-searching to find out if I am at fault for the problems in my home school. Perhaps I have been too strict or too lenient, too lax or overly managerial. Maybe I have required too much of the kids. Maybe I have not required enough.
Wherever the fault lies, the bald fact is that I have reached a point where I am drowning. All three kids have seemed to hit a spiritual, emotional, and academic slump at the same time, and there seems to be nothing I can do but persist in prayer and slog through the necessaries each day. I have no idea what else to do.
“Teach me, O Lord!”
Sometimes a person just needs a sobering reminder of how desperately she needs teaching. Sometimes, she needs to plead for understanding because everything she has ever tried before has fallen short. Sometimes, she just needs the strength of her God not to fall into the sin of hopelessness. Sometimes she needs her Guide to literally her eyes from the worthlessness of despair and she must pray fervently for life in His ways.
And so, this week I pray:
Teach me, O Lord, how to remain humble and teachable. Teach me not to give up but to be diligent to the very end.
Give me understanding so I miss nothing in Your word and the wisdom to obey it.
Lead me on the paths You know to be safe and sure and teach me to delight in Your way even when the going is rough and other paths appear more friendly.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to any form of selfishness, be it laziness, unforgiveness, greed, or anything else.
Turn my eyes from looking at the worthless ways of this world, from trinkets and distractions, from my “rights” and from self, for in self-focus is death. Give me life in You alone, my King.
Confirm Your promise to me and teach my heart appropriate reverence and respect. Do not allow me to forget who You are and the undeserved mercy You have given me.
Turn away the reproach that I not only dread but well deserve. Remind me that Your rules are good even when the days are long and dreary and full of pain.
I long for You, O Lord; to be freed from the body of this death and revived in the righteous life of my Lord Christ!