I remember when I first started teaching and this student was two points from an A. Three nights before Parent’s Night, she came to my classroom and told me that her parents don’t approve of anything less than an A. I told her that, that should encourage her to put forth the effort and study so that she can complete “A work.”
She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Please, Ms. Boyd.”
I responded, “Try harder next nine weeks.”
She left with tears streaming down her face. 😢
It may appear that I’m heartless and don’t have compassion for others. However, that’s not the case. I have the softest heart, but I was a first year teacher and I was determined to make a name for myself as that teacher who “DOES NOT PLAY.”
For the next two days, that student begged, wrote letters, and requested makeup work to earn those two points. I brushed her off and ignored her.
The afternoon right before Parent’s Night, she came to me one last time with a well- written essay on why she deserved those 2 points.
You guessed it.
I gave in!!!!
Not because of the essay (she was a great writer anyway so that essay took no effort for her), but because at that point, she had gotten on my nerves , and I had other things to finish before Parent’s Night. Her persistence also played a major role in my giving in.
(And honestly, she was an A student. She just didn’t do well on the exam, so I had not given her anything she had not earned.)
Now that I look back, my student reminds me of the widow in Luke 18:1-8.
In Luke 18:1-8, a widow wanted justice in a dispute with an enemy. She kept whining to the judge about justice from sun up to sun down. Initially, he ignored her. Eventually, the judge gave in not so much because she deserved justice but because of her persistence and she kept asking even after being ignored. He made it clear that he had no compassion for others and He did not fear God.
So, I assume she got on his nerves like my student got on mine.
That’s how God wants us to be in prayer. Get on God’s nerves like the widow did the judge and my student did me. Be persistent!!!!! Don’t give up even when you feel you are being brushed off or ignored! When you know your purpose, you don’t let circumstances or internal conflicts hinder you!
I dare you to keep praying and keep asking……even if it seems like nothing is changing! At just the right time, God will come through!
GET ON HIS NERVES!!!!
(Pray Until Something Happens)
While we were in class on Monday night, we completed this group activity entitled, “Values Auction.” We had to bid on a list of values that were the MOST important to us. The instructor gave each student a thousand bucks of pretend money. On the list were happiness, completing my education, living according to religious beliefs, being famous, looking good, family security, good health, traveling, having lots of possessions, inner peace, and companionship. Just to name a few…
When we started bidding, “living according to religious beliefs” was the second from the top. The first was “Looking good.”
She moved on.
My professor then said, “Living according to religious beliefs” going for $100.00.”
I looked around the room. Nobody, including me, said anything. Just as she said, “Nobody?” I yelled, “I’ll give my whole thousand.” She asked, “The whole thousand?” I said, “Yeah” in a hesitant manner. She took my “pretend money” and moved to the next value and opened the bid.
Now, if you know anything about bidding, you know I could’ve easily bought it for $100 since nobody else was bidding and would’ve had $900.00 left to spend on other “values.”
So as the activity continued, I sat and listened to the “values” that my classmates bidded on. The most competitive bids were happiness and completing my education.
See, I had the chance to look over the handout before we began the activity. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to bid all my money on living according to religious beliefs because in my mind if you live according to His will, fulfillment is a given.
However, when she opened the bid and I realized no one else was bidding, initially I became hesitant and didn’t want to speak out.
How many times we do we “put off” doing what we know we should do because it isn’t popular? We don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb so we spend our lives trying to fit in.
God desires boldness. Be bold! Be you! Be different!
When I was hesitant, Mark 8:38 dropped in my spirit.
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
And when that Holy Spirit starts speaking and convicting, you have to act! Lol
That’s when I yelled, “I’ll give my whole thousand.”
The truth of the matter is you may have to walk alone. Look at the story of Abraham. In His loneliness is when He heard God’s voice. Had he been worried about being alone or about fitting it or sticking out, he would have missed what God had for Him.
Sometimes, the road less traveled leads to your destiny.
Mark 8:36 dropped in my spirit as well later in class.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”
What are we willing to sacrifice to live according to God’s will?
What are we willing to miss out on to do what’s God has instructed us to do?
What price are we willing to pay to enter God’s kingdom?
So with that being said- Even when you complete your education, gain lots of possessions, & travel around the world, you still won’t find fulfillment in those things.
“Erica, how do you know?”
Because I’ve been there. I have 3 degrees, have had the “flourishing” bank account, and have traveled to many places….
….and still felt like I was missing something.
Fulfillment is found in God.
When your life becomes about chasing anything more than you chase God, then even when you succeed, you still have failed.
No, living right is not easy and you won’t ever get it right completely, but God sees your effort and He values sacrifice.
Bid the highest on God and watch Him place His highest bid on you!
~Disclaimer: Now, I’m not in any way insinuating that living according to religious beliefs was not of importance to my classmates. ~
What if you don’t get that job promotion you’ve been praying about?
What if you don’t get accepted to the university that you’ve applied?
What if that relationship you’re praying about doesn’t get any better?
What if the money you’re expecting never hits your bank account?
What if you don’t get approved for that Lexus Coupe?
See, a lot of us trust God and will proclaim we have FAITH as long as He’s answering our prayers in OUR time.
The real question is what if He does not???
Now, hear me out and don’t jump all over me. Lol
I know that we’ve been taught that God answers prayers, He’s coming through for us, and He’s a “way maker”…..which is all true….
But sometimes we must stop, consider, and accept that some of the things we are praying about isn’t God’s will for our lives.
Yep, what you want may not be what God wants for you!
For example, I always said that my first marriage will be my last marriage. So when my ex-husband and I hit that rough patch, I started praying like never before. I was praying sun up to sun down…..and guess what? We still divorced.
What’s your point, Erica?
A lot us times we build our own “houses” without seeking His counsel and guidance, and then when the foundation starts cracking and the roof starts leaking, we want to hire God for the renovations.
My point is God is not obligated to bless what he did not initiate!
We had to accept that, that “house” we built was not ours to begin with.
So what are you going to do when you’re waiting for that call to say that you’re hired that you never receive?
What are you going to do when you get the letter that states “Sorry, we can’t grant you admission to our university”?
What are you going to do when that relationship with your 8 year boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife isn’t getting any better?
What are you going to do when you don’t receive the money you’re expecting?
What are you going to do when you don’t get that approval on that car you really want?
Will you still have faith? Will you still trust and believe? Will you keep praying? Or….
Will you get bitter and allow your faith to waiver?
I challenge you to stop praying self-centered prayers and ask God to show you what you need to pray about. Ask God to align your desires with his desires for your life.
You have to trust and believe that when things don’t go according to your plans, then those things were not a part of His plans for your life.
Am I saying that everything you’re praying about that has not come to pass is out of God’s will? Absolutely NOT! Some things are simply just a matter of time and having patience.
Your attitude when things aren’t “perfect” matters the most to God!
Anybody can be happy when everything is going well! He wants us to be content in whatever state we’re in.
So my question to you is, “What if?”