Back to School
I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will be present for you, declares the Lord…
May you enter into God’s peace and presence afresh.
But now, says the Lord— the one who created you, Jacob, the one who formed you, Israel: Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched and flame won’t burn you.
Traversing a middle school hallway at the beginning of the school year is daunting. Lockers lunging open, bulging backpacks becoming bumper cars with lives of their own, and so much noise with friends trying to find friends – all creates a bit of a wilderness!
The school year starts afresh soon for many.
The work year continues for many.
Amidst both of those wildernesses, God is with us.
Whenever tides of the hallways or water cooler conversations seem overwhelming, whenever flare-ups at work or confusing fire drills or new expectations at school ignite frustrations, God is with us. When you feel nameless as a cog in your workplace or your teacher accidentally messes up your name in attendance, God knows you by name.
That doesn’t take away all our fears and challenges in the reality of daily living, but may it help us to start afresh each day, whether a new school year or a new day of the same work, with hope.
God is present. God knows you. God loves you.
Thank you, God, for knowing me by name and for choosing to be present amidst all the ups and downs, the seeming floods and fires of my daily life!
Help me to receive your presence, redemption, love, and your offer for a fresh start in that grace, every day.
Help me to live out that fresh start offering hope to others in the wild hallways of my life today.
Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.
Whether it’s morning or evening in your day, God’s grace is dawning.
May you be renewed by that fresh start and choose to live out that compassion.