The physical demands were a lot harder than they would have been 10 or 15 years ago. I have been learning in the past couple of years about my increasing limitations as get further into what is termed “middle-age.” But I know that God’s Spirit must have been with me in extra measure, helping me to bear the heavy load of this week, and I feel that I am beginning to acclimate to the physical demands of teaching. Just the big change of getting back into the classroom, teaching three classes would have been hard enough, but I had the additional stress of doing in less than two weeks what would take others in a normal process a couple of months to accomplish. Moreover, it seemed that the enemy was blocking my way at several steps, causing mischief in bureaucratic snafus and utterly bizarre problems that have no normal explanation. And what’s more, these bureaucratic problems kept me from accessing various teaching resources for class planning and execution, so I had to do twice the work that my colleagues in other classes were doing. But, being a life-long soldier, I fell back on my soldiering skills of improvising, adapting to conditions, making do with a bad situation, and turning chaos into mission accomplishment.
Although it was a trying week, I am most grateful to be back in the classroom. And I have seen already why God wanted me here in this situation. Many of my students need a little extra help, a little more patience, and a lot more wisdom in helping them to overcome some serious obstacles. But I feel confident that God has been preparing me for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14), just as He prepared Esther for her special mission. I can already tell that I am getting through to my students, not just in reaching them with my unique classroom techniques and my personal touch, but also in touching their hearts and making personal connections with many of them already, preparing the way, I’m sure, for witnessing opportunities and opportunities just to provide loving Christian service, being an ambassador of His love, and helping them to see Jesus through me.