A Prayer for the Teachers, Mamas, and Anyone Who Wants to Give Up - Your Daily Prayer - September 22




A Prayer for the Teachers, Mamas, and Anyone Who Wants to Give Up
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper

"Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

I received a letter from a former student a few weeks ago. It made my heart smile because of the precious one it was from. He was a handful. Smart as a whip, but a challenge many days. Listening comprehension, imagination, creativity, math...he knocked it out of the park. But reading and his behavior were another story. He came in tired most days, and I let him nap for short periods when he needed to. His mom worked late at a couple of different jobs, and he said he would wait up for her a lot. Sometimes sleep and a hug are what matter most. I recalled these memories as I read his letter and smiled. But my eyes filled with tears when I read these words, "I appreciate you never giving up on me." 

Wow. I didn't. I haven't. And I won’t. But the truth is, there were a lot of days I might have wanted to. He was not the only challenging student I had in that class. He was not the only one with not enough sleep, and there were days I was just plain weary. Weary of it all. Teaching all day only to come home to my own kids, husband, housework, cooking, and then more papers to grade later is exhausting.

Every teacher knows what I'm talking about (the stories we could tell). Every mama knows what I'm talking about (yep, stories here too). And honestly, anyone who has ever chosen to keep on believing when everything inside you says it's time to give up, knows what I'm talking about. 

There are students you feel like you will never reach. There are children who, it seems, will never learn to follow directions. There are relationships and jobs and dreams that seem to be dead ends. Sometimes it looks like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

I know all of that. But I also know that the Lord places people and situations and tasks in our lives for His purposes, no matter how challenging. When we seek His will and His plan above our own, sometimes we end up in places we might not necessarily want to be. I know, I've been there. But I know He will give us strength to keep pushing anyway, and here are a few reasons why I believe it's worth it:

1. There will be a harvest...if we do not give up.

"Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

This verse sits on my desk at work and hangs in my home. It is an everyday reminder. When I am tired and frustrated and out of ideas...do not grow weary. When I say I can't wait one more day because "it's" never going to happen...at the proper time you will reap a harvest. When I am ready to throw in the towel...if you do not give up. 

We may never get recognition for the time we put in. We may never be noticed and applauded by the crowd. We may never even receive a "thank you" for our efforts. But, there is One who sees us. And He matters most.

2. We are to do everything with all our hearts... for the Lord.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people." - Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do. Teaching, changing diapers, grading papers, cooking dinner, going to work, driving car pool, paying bills, disciplining, whatever it is...do it with all your heart.

And do it for the Lord...not people. That is so stinkin' hard! Because the Lord isn't visible. It doesn't feel like He's right there beside me all the time. And people...are people. They are selfish and demanding and difficult a lot of times. 

But this isn't really given as a choice. On the days you feel like it. If you have time and it doesn't interrupt your plans. Nope. As those who love Jesus, we are to work at whatever we do, with all our heart, for the Lord. Period.

3. And most importantly, Jesus hasn't given up on us... so we shouldn’t give up on others.

"I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway...Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 7:18, 24-25 

I mess up every day. Every. Single. Day. And it's not looking any better for tomorrow. I want to do what's right.  I want to be like Jesus. But somewhere between my brain and my mouth and my actions and my heart...some signals get crossed. Words come out wrong. My selfish nature takes over. I work for me instead of others.  I complain. It is not pretty some days. 

But, thanks be to God, there is one who can save me from this life... Jesus. And because He forgives me, loves me, gives mercy and grace to me on my worst of days... I will try my hardest to do the same for others. 

Dear Jesus,

I am so weary, and honestly, ready to give up some days. Please place people in my life to encourage me and point me to you as I seek to love others as you do. Help me choose to be hopeful, faithful and persistent in seeking you every day, but especially on the hard days. Guide my steps and allow me to see that my hard work is not in vain. Help me to give grace and mercy...to myself and others...as you give it freely to me. Thank you for all you have done and all you are going to do.  

In Your Mighty Name,

Amen.


Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.


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