The weeks leading up to spring break are harried for teachers. Third-quarter grades are due, parent conferences need to happen, regular teaching must go on, and everyone is desperate for the break’s arrival.
When the days seem short and the weeks long, it is easy to feel that nothing will be done on time and that everything is out of control. Well, everything is out of my control, but I know the one who is in control. So as I counted down the weeks to the break, I turned my thoughts to consider God’s sovereignty. God’s sovereignty (or his supreme power and rule) is not limited to the ability to make something happen or keep something from happening. While that is certainly part of it, it is only a part of it. We are known and kept by God Most High more intimately than that.
Psalm 139, which affirms the fearful and wonderful creation of each person, is loaded with examples of God’s omniscience and omnipresence. God did not make us unique and then abandon us like specialty cupcakes are abandoned on the bakery shelf. God’s hand is in every part of his children’s lives, from the time they are unformed substances to each moment of sitting down and rising up.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalm 139: 1–6
Psalm 139:5 was particularly precious during this time of educational pandemonium: “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” The work of hemming in and laying on a hand is not done to trap and afflict. God hems me in to protect me, and he lays his hand upon me to correct, guide, and comfort me. In The Treasury of David, Charles Spurgeon writes about verse five: “God is very near; we are wholly in his power; from that power there is no escape…Shall we not alter the figure, and say that our heavenly Father has folded his arms around us, and caressed us with his hand? It is even so with those who are by faith the children of the Most High.”
This is enough to restore and quiet an anxious heart. The scope of God’s knowledge of us, our ways, and our thoughts should prompt us to make confession for all our ways and thoughts that are sinful. Are we ruminating on things that are pure, just, and lovely since God discerns our thoughts from afar? Are we seeking God’s direction since he is acquainted with all our ways? Let us consider if the places we are going honor or dishonor God since he knows our every move.
Spring break is quickly fading into a mere memory. I know the harried feelings will return when the end of the school year comes. So let my heart turn hastily to Psalm 139 to be reassured that God’s hand is upon me to help me. And while I rest under his hand, let me take up the shield of faith to extinguish the flaming darts of the devil who tries to tell me that God is not in control. Don’t believe that lie.
God saw my unformed substance and wrote each day that was formed for me.