Guidance – Week of January 31, 2022
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2
What a blessing it is to work in early childhood! Each day we get to see smiling faces and hear children’s laughter. We witness the Holy Spirit’s work as children let their faith shine brightly. While it is a wonderful career, working with little children also poses challenges. Am I reaching that little one who always seems to seek negative attention? Are the students learning what they need for the next grade level? Will my patience hold out today?
Today’s Scripture reading is part of a letter an older pastor, Paul, wrote to a younger pastor, Timothy. Paul gave Timothy plenty to do: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2). Those words are also what God asks of us as early childhood educators. Does that list make you panic a bit? It doesn’t seem possible to do all of that, does it?
On our own we would fail, but we are not alone. Just before these words, Paul reminded Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). Paul wanted Timothy to know that the Holy Spirit was with him. He gave Timothy faith and God’s Word to guide him each day. The Holy Spirit equips us too. He planted faith in our hearts, trains us through God’s Word, and daily gives us what we need to lead little children to Jesus.
With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we do what God asks of us. We preach the Word. We talk about our need for a Savior and what Jesus has done. We pray and sing and learn Bible lessons. Throughout the day we correct, rebuke, and encourage. When those teachable moments come, we help children see and confess their sins. We comfort them with Jesus’ love and forgiveness. We guide them to show thankfulness to their Savior in their words and actions. We model all these things in our own lives, knowing that, imperfect though we are, God uses us to train his little ones.
Yes, early childhood education is a wonderful and demanding career. As we deal with joys and frustrations, we know the Holy Spirit will guide us and give us strength. Turn to God’s Word and be comforted in promises such as this one, “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:14).
Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Amen.
A Question to Consider: Which Bible verses give you comfort and encouragement? Write some verses down and put them in a place you’ll see often.