I am with my grandchildren right now. Six of them are in either preschool or school. They are all in the learning stages. Some are learning colors and numbers, some are learning how to print their name and some are learning math, spelling and more complicated lessons, but they are all in the different stages of learning.
That’s the way with us isn’t it? As Christians we are all in different stages of learning. Just like some of my grandchildren have mastered the art of handwriting and naming their colors we have mastered some techniques along the Christian journey, but there are many more stages to learn. I also have noticed all of my grandchildren are learning in different ways. There is no one way to learn for each of them. They have their own way of learning. Some of them struggle with some concepts while others get it quickly. I know on my journey I have struggled understanding some concepts while others see the same concept clearly. I just don’t get it and then one day after learning and applying that concept to my life I finally get it.
Last winter my grandchildren didn’t get to go to school for weeks because of snow. They had been learning new things in school and then because of the weather they stopped their training. My daughters made a comment about how hard it was for them to get back into the practice of learning and going to school again because they had taken so much time off. I have found in my own life if I stop doing my devotions or reading my Bible, or praying, or even going to church for a time I have a hard time getting back into it. I am not sure I believe in year round school, but I do know that the first few weeks is difficult getting back into a routine and studying again.
At the end of the day some of my children have homework to do. Basically what it is is a review of what they learned that day. Now that’s a new concept for me to think about. What would happen if I did my devotions of a morning applied them throughout the day and then reviewed them before I went to bed? I don’t always think about reviewing scriptures and maybe doing a little homework to see if I got it. Maybe if I did it wouldn’t take me as long to learn new concepts.
One of my grandsons is taking a test to see what he knows and what he is lacking. They are looking to see how well he has learned what they have taught him the previous year and how he compares to others. I am so thankful God does not examine us to see how we compare to others. God created us each individually and we learn at our own speed. He knows we don’t need to be compared to each other to see how we are doing.
Finally, after a few weeks of learning the teachers give exams or tests depending on which child I talk to. These tests will tell the teachers if the student has gotten the concepts they are teaching. My girls would often come home and fret about the tests. I would tell them, “you know what you have studied this stuff. You and I have gone over it several times you know this don’t fret. You got this. I would often tell them to say a silent prayer asking God to help them with this. Just take a deep breath and recall what you have learned. Don’t fret. You will be fine.” Most of the time, the girls did great on their tests. I am reminded of a verse in the Bible. Psalm 26:2 “Examine me, LORD; put me to the test! Purify my mind and my heart.” Maybe when we are being tested we should look at it as an exam. May God is just testing us to see if we have got what He has been teaching us. Maybe He wants to know if we have it or if He needs to continue working on this concept He’s been teaching us. He needs to know if we are ready for a new concept or if we need more help in this one area. When we fret about these tests and exams we need to remember Isaiah 12:2, “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
The last thing I know about my grandchildren is that they will be learning for a long time. They will graduate and maybe go on to college to learn more. I have learned that I never stop learning. The learning process goes on forever. For me I am convinced if I quit learning I quit living. My mom had Alzheimer’s. I saw her lose everything she had learned. I keep working daily on the things I have learned to keep my mind intact. Now I know learning everyday may not keep me from Alzheimer’s, but it makes me feel good. I know also on this journey of faith I have to keep learning. There are always new things God wants to teach me, but at the same time I have to apply those things to my life I have already learned so I won’t lose them or forget them. God just opened my eyes to something new in the last month. I am now applying that to my life. I know at some point after a learning period in my life God will examine me to see just how much I know, how much I have gained and how well I am doing. In the past I have been afraid of those tests and examinations. Now I can say go ahead and test me. I got this. I know this stuff and the devil can’t convince me otherwise. The devil may put doubts in my mind, but God has sent the Holy Spirit to live in me and to help me along the way.
You know as I think about it school and learning never ends we just have a different teacher. This teacher is one that helps me along the way and does not compare me with the others around me. If I am lucky maybe someday I just might be the teacher’s pet.
Dear Lord, thanks for reminding me exams are not bad they are just so you can see where I am at. Let me not fret when tests come along. Remind me the Holy Spirit and I have got it and the devil can’t convince me of anything else. Be with me as I learn each new concept you have for me and help me to apply those things I have learned to my life. As I lay down at night help me do a little homework and review what I have learned during the day. In all these things I ask Amen.