I wrote this for the opening worship for the teachers at Chicago Mennonite Learning Center:
Slightly adapted by Krista Dutt
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble – like when the aide and my co-teacher is out sick and the kid I hate to admit that I don’t like every much is working my last, my last nerve. Even then, God is my refuge and provides me another nerve of strength.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth or the schedule should change, though the mountains shake or I want to shake someone at the book club company for not sending one of the books that my 5th grader wanted so badly. Though its waters roar and foam or my co-worker looks like she is going to roar and foam, though the mountains tremble forget butterflies, those are mountains that are in my stomach when that one, you know the one, parent comes in to “talk”.
I know You can calm my fear.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. That is totally better than the river of rainwater in the parking lot which is causing a week worth of inside recess. You reside in those extra moments with the kids, help me see that.
God is in the midst of this city and this school; it shall not be moved or swayed from its mission; God will help it when the morning dawns which is when the teachers arrive to the time the last 2nd grader is picked up.
Come, behold the works of the Lord through your hands and through the children’s minds and eyes; see what God has done through your dedication each day.
God makes wars cease to the end of the earth; so God can handle the 7th grader who is too smart for her own good. God breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. So God can take the homesick kindergartener and comfort him, help the 8th grader figure out her next steps, or help you explain the conflict resolution process to the 3rd graders.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations and CMLC, I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us as we start this new year; the God of Jacob is our refuge.