who shall declare His generation?

9430748_s“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken” –Isaiah 53:8

Their words brought a chill to my bones, while at the same time setting my spirit on fire. Chilling because of the certain reminder of how powerful and effective the winds of strong words can quickly bring a sleepy soul to shivering and warming because of the certain reminder of how powerful and effective the fuel of strong words can quickly fan into flame the embers of a fire temporarily forgotten.

Isaiah 53. The entire chapter. Twelve verses. Spoken from memory, together and out loud for the first time by sixteen, fourth graders on Thursday morning. They’ve been working on the chapter in sections since the beginning of the school year, and this week, they put the verses all together. I wish you could have been there as witnesses. The further along they went in their recitation, the louder their volume. When they got to the end, a hearty round of applause could be heard, and for the more perceptive, a few tears could be observed in the eyes of their teacher.

This is how we win, students. This is how we defeat the enemy, the true enemy behind all the evil in the world. We may not be able to stop a bullet from tearing into our flesh, but we can stop a bullet from tearing into our spirits. This is how we win. With God. With truth in our hearts and with truth spoken from our lips. Do not ever let these words depart from your heart. Practice them every now and again so you don’t forget. This way, for the rest of your days, you’ll always know that you’re not alone … that there is One who has made his home with you, taken up his cross to save you, and now lives to make intercession for you.

And then I told them that, perhaps, in those hallowed moments of their speaking truth out loud, God just might have called the prophet Isaiah over and, together, the two of them listened in to our morning recitations with a smile across their hearts. I can’t prove it happened that way, but I like thinking about it. So did my students.

Chilling winds; stoked embers; peaceful pause.

This is how we win. This is how we defeat the enemy in times of terror. We may not be able to stop a bullet to our chests, but we can make certain that if one lodges there, it is encased and swallowed up by layers of truth – God’s truth that is lavishly given to us in the pages of holy writ, the Bible. The world would be a better place if it stopped trying to manage and manipulate truth, and, instead, meditated upon it, memorized it, and allowed it to transform each one of us from the inside-out.

Who shall declare his generation? Who will tell his story?

I will. Maybe even a few of my students will. Why? Because his story has become … is becoming our story. Every day we are learning truth, and while it might not all make sense to my students at this point in their journeys of grace, I know one day it will. Why? Because God makes sense and his words have everlasting depth. They strike through to the bone, chilling us when we need to awaken from our drowsiness and warming us when we’ve forgotten the strength of a single, lit match.

Stay in the Word, friends. Stay with Jesus every day. He is how we win. He is how we stay alive, even in the midst of death. As always …

Peace for the journey,


 

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9 Responses to who shall declare His generation?

  1. wifeforthejourney:

    What a remarkable investment that is being made in the hearts and lives of these sixteen 4th graders! So much of ministry life is trying to cultivate the seeds we sow but this is a moment of fruits. I celebrate with you how the Lord is using your efforts in the classroom to refine, to correct, to encourage, to teach and to disciple your class.

    God does find a way to work where his Word is read, studied, and embraced. Thanks be to God!

    Love always,

    Preacher Billy

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. You are doing a good work in your classroom. I know it’s hard at times. I remember from my days as a classroom teacher how hard teaching and managing students can be but in those moments when it’s good…it’s very good.

  3. Oh Elaine, I love this post so much because it echoes my heart…my heart for Christ-followers to live victoriously from their time in the Word. Scripture has such power ~~ untapped power ~~ for so many. I do hope you sense the smiling nod of God on your ministry to those little ones. Love you, friend. So good to have you speak into my heart today.

  4. Well, you already know I’m a huge fan; and that I applaud your classroom dedication immensely. Some investments don’t show a return for many years. But today I applaud your encouragement to spend time in His word. It is there & perhaps there alone that we are tethered to everything we will ever need in this life or the next.

    Love you bunches!
    Kathleen

  5. My heart thrilled reading your words! I could almost hear those precious children reciting that resounding Truth! How inspiring and uplifting! Oh yes, there is indeed power in the living Word of God!

    Yes, this world is getting darker, and the enemy has stepped up his game. But I will carry with me your *motto* – “HE is how we win.” I just love that…

    GOD BLESS!

  6. Love how you’re inspiring a love for the Word of God in your students, Elaine. I doubt there’s a greater gift you could give them. God bless — and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  7. Oh my how I love Isaiah……how nice it is to stop by your place from mine and visit. It’s been too long since I have read your words, Elaine. Thank you for teaching these kids!

  8. Don’t know how I missed THIS one!?!
    Reading it aloud to my husband this New Year’s Day, he said he’d been thinking of memorizing some verses in 2016 and thinks he’ll take up the challenge of these 12 verses! (Maybe THAT’S why I missed it earlier.) I wish I could see ahead – if the Lord should tarry – and see how God uses your influence and teaching in and through the lives of these 4th graders!

    Keep the Big Picture in mind in the coming days. Never give up! Never lose your zeal. I love you, Elaine. ♥