“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord”… Isaiah 54:13
Do you remember your very first day of school and all the preparations which led up to that big day? In those days we didn’t have kindergarten and as a five year old I entered the big time, the first grade. My brother and I walked up the steps into school together my curls bouncing and my starched petticoat rustling with each step I took.
I remember the list of school supplies we were required to take on that first day. It included a Big Chief Tablet (do they still make those), a cigar box with the following contents: 2 number two pencils, a red correcting pencil, and paste glue.
The paste was actually quite tasty and I wasn’t the only first grader who was caught taking a bite here and there. Topping off the list was a large box of tissues for runny noses and various other purposes. With all these items I stepped into the unknown world of school.
What does all of this have to do with the Christian walk? With the help of the Lord I came up with some ideas to help remind myself and possibly others of growing in the Word. Just as I went through school, I find myself still in the school of life.
Beginning with the Big Chief Tablet, do you ever take notes from a sermon you heard or kept a prayer journal? Not everyone likes taking notes, but I find it reminds me of all the wonderful things the Lord taught and did for me many years ago. Psalm 71:17 declares, “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: And hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works”.
When you are experiencing a rough time in your life it helps to look back and remember how God helped you with problems in the past.
Take the pencils out of the box and think of ways they are used. Paul wrote to many people and churches during his life. Sometimes his words seemed harsh but their purpose was to help. In 2 Corinthians 13:10 he penned these words: “… I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction”.
The red pencil was used to correct papers, but the Bible is the guideline for that correction. 2 Timothy 3:16 says scripture is “…profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
Furthermore a pencil is used to write and what better to write than words of
encouragement such as 1 John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full.”
The cigar box was to hold many important things for our instruction. We are containers that are of great use to God as Paul described in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” When we are broken it is the glue of God’s power and love that puts us back together.
These earthen vessels brings us to the box of tissues. As I noted earlier, they had a variety of uses. It is up to us to be ready to comfort or encourage someone or clean up after a small child spills their milk. Anything we do in ministering to others we are doing it for the Lord. Jesus states in Matthew 25:40, “…Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me”.
As you walk out of your home tomorrow into the school of life I pray you are supplied with everything you need to be ready for what God has in store.
All of us are like that little first grader as we have so much to learn.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: