So every year, I'm surrounded by tired, cranky, complaining students (and sometimes us teachers, too), and every year we all just try to make it until Friday when we can go home and collapse into oblivion.
But this year something very different happened. We discovered that one of my students was in danger of not passing for the year. After looking at things from every possible angle, there just didn't seem to be any hope. He had to get a 93 on my final in history and literature to advance to the next grade level. A 93!!! It seemed impossible, and I resigned myself to the sickening real possibility that I'd be delivering some very bad news soon.
And then God moved...When his classmates heard about the situation, they looked at me with sad eyes (some with tears) and asked what they could do. Before I knew it, they'd sprung into action! A schedule for study sessions was written on the board. People's homes were promised and coffee shop trips were discussed. These students who would be making an A (easily) in the class unselfishly gave up their time and energy to come together, lifting up one who'd fallen. They became encouragers, doled out tough love when necessary, and collectively decided that this friend of theirs would pass...or else.
I watched as all of this happened, from a distance of course, because, after all, they didn't need me anymore. They'd been taught how to love deeply from the heart for years, and all I had to do was watch the fruits of 11 years of Godly education become real life.
And somewhere along the way, it hit me.
This is the body of Christ!These 17 year olds were being the hands and feet! Without thinking twice, they became Jesus to this young man.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor. 12:26-27 NIV)The day of the exam came, and by this time we'd prayed, we laid hands on him, and we'd spent a lot of time just plain hoping. Two and half grueling hours later, all of the papers had been turned in. At this point, I got that sinking feeling in my stomach that there just wasn't anything else I could do. It was what it was...
And do you know what it was???
Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling... (Jude 1:24 KJV)