August always feels like a fresh start. I know many people feel that in January, but the beginning of the school year truly feels brand new. I live in a college town with new faces pouring in this time of year. In every community kids are getting in their last summer adventures while parents are budgeting for the mounting list of school supplies. Social media is full of photos of children with smiling faces (even if they are not so secretly bummed that summer is over!).
I can remember the feeling of the new school year as a child, college student, public school teacher, and now homeschooling momma. It’s a good thing I’m a nerd because it doesn’t look like I am getting out of the school mode anytime soon.
Each year I feel the pull of summer ending (oh, how I love those carefree months with my girls!) and settling into a new school routine. I feel the pressure to get things right. And I always feel much empathy for the students who are nervous about their new classroom, the mommas who have dropped off their babies, the teachers who long to educate well, and the homeschoolers who feel the weight on their shoulders.
The enemy seeks to devour us. He loves to divide us. To anger us. To embitter us. To make it so stay at home moms cannot confide in working moms. To make it so public school parents cannot come alongside homeschool parents. To keep us afraid. To distract us. To make us focused on things like masks or vaccines. The enemy wants to pull apart friendships over things that will not matter in 1,000 years, 100 years or even 10! We have to keep our hearts focused on eternity – on the good news of Jesus!
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour. Resist him, stand firm in your faith. (1 Peter 5:6-9)
Many have already thrown in the towel with their fresh start before it even had a chance to begin because it is not going “their way.” I want to encourage you to stand firm. Fight. Not for a certain viewpoint on a peripheral issue, but for Truth. Jesus rules and reigns. He is in control. He urges us to stay focused on the gospel – God in flesh came to earth as a sinless man to save very sinful people. Our job is to love God with everything and our neighbors as ourselves. To trust Him. To live with joy.
“One having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” (Daniel 10:18-19)
How can we be close with people that are different from us? Because God loves us. How can we choose college careers, raise children, do our jobs, and live our lives without anxiety? How can we have this fresh start with hope? Because all of those that have put their faith in Jesus are DEARLY LOVED.
In all things let us seek the King in prayer, follow His direction, and then move forward without fear because of his great love for us. Have courage! Keep your eyes on things above, not on the things of the world that seek to destroy hope.
Remind yourself today who God is. His character is unchanging and completely perfect. He pursues His people. He loves to help. He never grows tired or weary. He is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. THAT is the God that I can trust with my future and my children.
God is so faithful and kind to us. We, too, are called to love one another as He loves us. Let’s put it into practice this week. Call a momma to build her up during this transition. Be kind to the teachers. Pray for our kids! This week let’s pray for the students in college, in public school, Christian school, and at home. Jesus, be with us!
Here’s to a fresh start, friends. One full of joy and hope because we are dearly loved.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way. (Psalm 46:17)
“I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:14)
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24)