How did God get your attention initially? How has he taught you over the years? What have been the circumstances in which you grew in spiritual depth and wisdom?
I’m in awe of our God. As great and mighty as he is, he chooses to be directly involved in our lives in very personal ways. His reason for doing this is to bring about his good pleasure, which is, in part, to cause us to grow and be transformed into the image of his son. But though the ultimate goal for each of us is the same, I have yet to meet two people who were given the same path to get there. God works with each of us individually.
This reminds me of my mom. She was a public school teacher, and growing up she’d often tell us about her creative teaching ideas. She always had a general lesson plan for her second grade class, but then she’d describe all the variations that she built into it to take into consideration the learning differences and varying skill levels of the children in her class. She knew many of her students required a special approach in order to draw on their previous accomplishments while reaching for something new.
Mom was a teacher long before IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for “differently abled” students became a legal requirement. But she had no trouble when the law came in. She already knew that every child was “differently abled” and rather than ignore the uniqueness, she worked with it to bring out the best in each one.
So, too, with God—he has a spiritual IEP for each of us. They reflect his overall plan but take into account our individual needs. I’m really thankful for that because I’m certainly “differently abled” and need a personalized approach to this greatest of all teachings, of who he is, who I am, and how I should live.
And I’ve noticed that this greatest of all teachers is an expert at multi-media! For my education, he’s used experiences, relationships, pain, pleasure, emotions, and many human teachers, all in conjunction with his textbook. And even the textbook contains every type of literary means of reaching me. There are stories, poems, direct instructions, parables, and miracles. Together, these let me see his instructions in action and allow me to know I belong in this class.
I’m in awe of this greatest teacher, and oh so privileged to be his student. You too?