Have you ever uttered that phrase? It usually comes after a litany of troublesome issues -- knees that just can't seem to go on. Weight that goes on to one's body; well, because the knees just seem to hurt too much. The politics of the workplace start overriding the joy of the tasks at hand. Your good name, your name as Christian, gets thrown through the mud. Relationships seem stressed, and distance makes it more difficult to cure those ills. Then there's the realities of a culture that works antagonistically against longtime, tried-and-true morals and values of respect and protecting life and responsible contributions to one's neighbor. There are so many burdens in this life -- sometimes we just say, "That's enough."So what does a Christian do? You heed the Savior's plea and come to Him being "weak and heavy laden." You come to church to be fed on the very Bread of Life, seeking to be strengthened by Christ, who is the Bread of Heaven, who gives us all we need. Oh the frustration when instead of hearing that "the journey is too great for you (1 Kings 19)" and God providing the food needed to strengthen you, you instead hear about your responsibilities to the team, how the team will pick you up and how your contribution to the team will be a legacy maker. Ugh -- if enough wasn't enough, here comes more!I'm so thankful for this past Lord's Day and being given the very Bread of Heaven to strengthen and sustain me. God's words to Elijah are the needed "pick me up" -- not just words of comfort ("the journey is too great for you" so He fed me with His Word), but also gave me His very Body in Holy Communion. God's food, His very Son, sustains for life here and life eternal.Will this make the journey easier? I doubt it. On this side of heaven, I expect challenges from the world and that old Adam inside of me. I expect new problems to come up this year. But just as Elijah "went in the strength of that food for 40 nights," so I trust that this food from heaven will sustain me beyond kind words and pats on the back. His Word is a blessing to me and a blessing to others.Here comes a new school year! Students will deal with new content to grasp, changes in relationships, and just trying to grow into those ever changing bodies. School board members will deal with finances, policies, and staff changes. Teachers will learn 25 (or more) new students' learning styles and characteristics and deal with the ever-changing world of education. And principals -- well, they'll deal with all of it!Our friends, family, and team are gifts God gives to us. But don't look to them for your strength. They're needing to look for the same strength as you are. Look forward to this school year while "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus is what we share in our schools. Not doing the right thing or making a difference in the world. Those will come. Those will come as our kids and families hear about Jesus -- our Savior, our Redeemer, our bread of Heaven.
Posted on Aug 14, 2015 by Mark Muehl - Christian Leadership
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