There are many stories in the Bible that speak about readiness. Readiness is the state of being fully prepared for something. We are admonished to be ready for the battle between good and evil and to be ready for the second coming of Jesus. Educators, frontline workers whose mission is to educate God’s children, also need to be in a state of readiness. They should be ready to teach and to prepare boys and girls for now and for eternity.
God promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us, but He did not promise that there would not be times of trouble. He did not promise that there would not be viruses, a pandemic of epic proportion, hatred, deaths, or riots.
In times of trouble, what should teachers do? Should teachers pack up and retreat into a corner in their home, or should they shine for Jesus like never before? In times like these, how should teachers cope with their responsibilities of delivering quality education to their students? They should use all of their tools to cope, even in stressful situations, so that they can fulfill their mission, which is to instruct.
Theirs is a serious responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. The responsibility is even more serious for Seventh-day Adventist teachers because, additionally, they are preparing children for now and for eternity. Times of trouble are upon us. During this pandemic there were no physical classrooms in a building where teachers could welcome their students to a day of academic discovery.
In the midst of a pandemic, in the midst of medical and civil unrest, instruct they must. How? With men, this may seem impossible, but with God, all things are possible. With God, teachers have to stay calm and press on because “Our young people need to be helped, uplifted, and encouraged”—Messages to Young People, p. 287. God has set the benchmark for the teachers, “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children”—True Education, p.12.
How are teachers and students coping with this abrupt change in their routine? They continue to pray each day, asking God for guidance. Like the wise virgins, because they had extra oil in their lamps (technology, resources, and a heart for teaching and reaching each student for Jesus), they have adapted. Ellen White said, “Teach them to ask the Lord to help them in the little things of life”—Child Guidance, p. 31.
Educators have learned to ask God, and even their students, to help them face the little and big challenges of teaching in a flat world. Through mediums such as Google Classroom, Zoom, and other technological resources, teachers are meeting the needs of students. Teachers and students have learned that, on their own, they could not possibly make it, but with God, they are able to do all things.
“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who would stand for the right though the heavens fall”—Education, p. 57.
In times like these, the teachers of the Atlantic Union Conference have learned to place their trust in God, to cope, stay calm, and press on. They may not know what will happen tomorrow or the next school year, but they know Someone who knows yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In Him they place their trust. Regardless of the challenge or the situation, their goal will be to press on in Jesus’ name and for His glory.