Are You Willing to Give God a Chance?
With Christmas festivities immersing you this month, we thought it would be an excellent time to step away from providing practical high school tips. Instead, we've asked Elizabeth Smith, wife of HSLDA President Mike Smith, to give you some words of encouragement to finish this year strong and look towards 2009 with hope.
Elizabeth takes over from here.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect [at peace with or loyal] toward him..." II Chronicles 16:9 KJV
I find this verse one of the most personally inspiring verses in the entire Bible. Let me share how it became such a powerful life verse for me in the hope that it will bless you as well.
I have been speaking about homeschooling teens for over 20 years. I have a list entitled "Ten Reasons to Homeschool Teens" that has been shared at conferences and in magazines across the country. Several years ago I was preparing my notes for a talk when I felt the Lord was getting my attention and sending a very clear thought to my mind, "There's another reason to homeschool your teens. I want to show Myself strong on your behalf." II Chronicles 16:9 immediately became the 11th reason on my list of reasons to homeschool teens.
Over the years I have come to realize that the Lord wants his Word to be very personal to us. He wants it to be a "living Word" in our lives. Each day in my quiet time I open the scriptures expecting to hear from Him, and I try to take it as personally as I can.
In that vein, let's take a closer look at this verse and see how each one of us can be encouraged in our commitment to homeschool to know that we are not alone in the task.
It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept that He is going back and forth over the whole world, continually scanning the earth, seeking us out and searching for those of us who are completely loyal to him. To me it means God is pursuing us with a desire to walk with us everyday. He says He does this because he wants to "show" His strength in the things we face day in and day out. He knows our frailties and the limitations of our human condition. And because He is a loving God, it gives Him pleasure to meet our needs in this way.
Of all the compelling reasons to continue to homeschool our teens, none compares to these few powerful words that tell us that the Lord wants to meet us where we are with His help and strength.
Saint Paul knew how to tap into God's strength for his life. In II Corinthians 12:10 he says, "Therefore I take pleasure in my infirmities...for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong." KJV
The necessary ingredient we need for God to release His strength in our lives is humility. All we need to do is acknowledge our own need or weakness. Our willingness to humble ourselves and admit that we can't do it without Him is all He asks.
Wouldn't it be a little insulting to the Lord for Him to make us this offer and for us to disregard it? Hasn't He proved Himself by sending His own Son to earth to give His life to satisfy God's requirement that our sins be covered by Jesus' blood sacrifice? What more could God do to prove His love for us? It is through God's sheer power, or strength, that He raised His Son from the dead and won the final victory over sin and death. It is this very strength that is made available to us when He offers "to show Himself strong" on our behalf.
So, when we begin to doubt our ability to homeschool through high school, when we feel we can't teach challenging courses, or our children are pressuring us to go to "normal" school, or we worry that they won't get into the college of their choice, perhaps it is time to remember the Lord's offer to provide us with the strength we need.
I want to leave with you a prayer to pray when doubt sets in:
Dear loving Heavenly Father,
I face so many unknowns as I consider the decision to homeschool through high school. You know my fears and concerns. I confess that in my own strength I can't do it, but with your help I know I can. Right now I ask you for your strength to continue to teach through the teen years. Please grant me the grace to do what you have called me to do.
Thank you for answering my prayer.
In Jesus name, Amen
We hope that Elizabeth's words bring renewal and vision to you as we come to the end of 2008. We send our heartfelt wishes that the peace and joy embodied in the birth of our Savior will overwhelm you with an increased appreciation of His great love for you and your children.
Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators
This resource is an article from the Homeschooling Thru Highschool newsletter (12/4/2008), and is provided by the Home School Legal Defense Association as a service to the homeschooling community.