Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

February 27, 2014

Show Christianity every day

THOMASVILLE — Right after I graduated from college, I spent several months substitute teaching.  I think I have enough material from those few months to fill a book.

Everything I ever did to a poor substitute teacher when I was in school came back to haunt me (the same things were done to me).

I did have one very memorable (positive) experience, substituting for a physical education teacher for an inner city (Miami, Fla.) junior high school.  I was warned by the person calling me that there had been some racial tension (the school was racially mixed with Latino, black and white students) and that it could be dangerous and I could say no.

Although most of the classes went without incidence, when I got to one class, there seemed to be some tension with some of the students.  They were not wanting to be very cooperative.  I always prayed before I took an assignment, so I was confident the Lord wanted me right there at that school that day.

I was teaching/supervising softball and the Lord gave me an idea.  One of the girls came up to bat and her stance was not right, she was not holding the bat correctly, so I simply went over to her and put my arms around her from behind and helped her adjust her stance, etc.

Something magical happened.  I believe it was me being willing to touch her and show concern and care.  It was like a light went on and all the tension vanished.

There is a little quoted scripture in Genesis (49:24): “His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”

Jacob (deceiver) was renamed by God to Israel (prince with God) but God made covenant and showed Himself strong to Jacob, while he was still living for himself.  Joseph, one of his descendants, drew his strength and confidence from the same God that proved Himself strong on his behalf. He ended up second only to the leader of all of Egypt, using his God given gifts to save much of the then known world from seven years of famine.

Sometimes, we do not think that we are adequate for the task at hand —  we are not smart enough, strong enough, have the correct social standing, etc.  But our covenant keeping God, wants to show Himself strong on our behalf.

 Those troubled young girls felt the touch of love and acceptance and responded in the way most people who feel love should respond.  I was not educated as a teacher, I certainly had no experience in solving racial tension — I was just an instrument the Lord could show Himself strong through.

My touch was His touch — my arms were strengthened by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.

I am absolutely convinced all of us who call ourselves Christians would have to “preach” very little, if we would just be willing to show kindness, care, concern for those we come in contact with in our daily lives.

We start out our week at the store with a few minutes of prayer, to acknowledge the Lord and His gracious provision for us.  We also pray to represent Him in a right way to our customers, by extending kindness and genuine concern for each person we have an opportunity to interact with.  I want the atmosphere to be one that people feel loved, accepted and cared for genuinely.  We may be all the God they ever experience that day or week.

My challenge to all of us this week — to  let our lives be strengthened by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob — may others reap the benefit of our dependence upon our God.

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