I cried for my students on Thursday, driving home from school.
I’m pretty sure that’s a new record; I had seen them twice. About 70 minutes total. I barely know their names.
But this I know – the Lord loves them. He made them. He wants to be in relationship with them. And many of them are far away from Him. As I anticipated this new move and new journey, God kept putting Acts 18:10 in my heart, “I have many in this city who are my people.” This promise to Paul wasn’t because there was a strong church in Corinth but because God is faithful to bring dead hearts to life.
I cried on Thursday not because I was discouraged at how hardened their hearts are [though if you have spent any time in any Christian school you know the desensitization of hearts that happens when the Bible becomes mundane], but because I am hopeful that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will raise dead hearts to life here.
What a privilege of ministry! I get to look 97 students in the eye every day and tell them that God loves them that He loves them – not because they are good or behave or are clever, but because He is good. I get to walk alongside of 97 eternal souls, created for a relationship with God, and see as He woos them to Himself. I get to pray that they don’t harden their hearts to his voice, that He breathes life into their dead hearts, that they see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
And so it begins again, bearing the weight of love for these students. I remember when I first started teaching and would go home daily almost unable to breathe because I loved my students so much. It scared me to feel such strong emotions. So I emailed my cooperating teacher, a lady who loves her students more than any other teacher I’ve ever met. This is what she said:
You keep praying. And weeping. And praising – because God is also showing you what His love for you is like. It is a glimpse of the depth and breadth of the love of God. And His love is not sterile and academic. It is emotional. And painful. Jesus wept – because Jesus loved.
I’m grateful for the tears because I’m grateful that my heart has not grown hard. It’s difficult at times to just have so much emotion inside of me. I don’t want to bore other people with talking about everything I’m feeling for them, so sometimes I just hurt, longing to talk about these students. It should prompt me to pray – after all, Jesus never gets tired of hearing about them – and I want to do more of that this year. If you talk to me in real life, ask me how I’m doing with praying consistently for my students.
May many of them come to know Him this year.