Starting From Scratch
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When I walked into the school ground I knew my way around and people recognized me.
Reference: v.21 People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: After being chaplain for eight years at the one school I had built a great rapport with the students, staff and families. When I walked into the school ground I knew my way around and people recognized me. I didn’t have to explain my role to people but the staff would recommend particular children spend time with me so we could work together at making their lives a better place. The role certainly had its ups and downs but I felt like an important part of a team. When I left that school and moved across town I tried to make some connections with another local school. I can remember walking in to the school grounds for the first time to meet with the principal. I entered as a stranger. No one knew who I was, where I had come from and what I had to offer. I realized very quickly that I was starting from scratch all over again.
Application: Job had worked hard to have a social position in his city. He was respected by all people and used his position to help others. And yet suddenly this was all taken from him and he felt reduced to nothing all over again. My experience in changing schools was not as abrupt as Job’s but both situations came with challenges. It is in these times that I remember the passage from Philippians 3 where Paul lists all his credentials but then says that they are like rubbish compared to knowing Christ. It’s when we can see our personal gains are small that we can really rely on Jesus and stand firm in what He has done rather than what we have tried to build for ourselves. Our qualifications can diminish overnight however Jesus offer of grace will never end.
Prayer: Lord, we can get so full of ourselves as we earn our credentials. May we never hold too firmly on our own accomplishments but live under Your achievements. Amen.
When have you had to rely completely on God?