There are many people in this world who sometimes feel unappreciated for
the great work that they do for the sake of others. We should always be
quick to recognize the labor that others do for our betterment and make a
decision to be complementary and show thanks for all the great work that
they are doing. The Bible declares in Proverbs 3:27 “Withhold not good
from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do
it.” We are to be encouraging and uplifting towards all who do good works
for the benefit of those around them and show that their efforts are not in
vain, but are bringing forth great fruit because of their labor of love.
I hope today's message ministers to your heart to show thanks towards that
one who has made an impact and difference in your life.
PETALS OF THANKS
One of the most difficult realities about the teaching profession is that
we seldom know if we have made a difference. When I become frustrated with
my job, my students or myself, I often think back to one particular day of
my teaching career.
My first year of teaching was almost over. I taught junior English at
Milford High School on a one-year temporary contract, and I worried that I
would not be able to find a job the following year. However, I had a bright
and conscientious group of students that year, and I was grateful for that.
I made it clear to them that they were special to me and that I would never
forget them, my very first students. However, as the end of the school year
drew to a close, my students continually asked if the regular teacher would
be returning. I answered professionally that, of course, she would be back
next year as planned. I tried to respond with little emotion, regardless
of their reaction. Deep down, though, I was more bothered by leaving than
Inevitably, the day came to give my last final exam. The exam was to begin
at the start of school and last the whole morning. I passed the office
before the bell rang and saw a couple of the students from my class, and I
thought how difficult saying good-bye would be. Theirs was a group with
whom I could joke, have fun, share ideas and be serious, all within one
class period. Teaching them was a pleasure, and we all had learned a lot
that year. But, as successful students do, they were moving on to twelfth
grade, and I doubted they would remember much about me after a few more
years of their academic careers and busy lives.
Just about this time I was on hall duty outside my classroom, and I noticed
the crowds thinning out and classroom doors shutting. I looked in my room
to find only two students in attendance. When I commented that it was
awfully strange that their classmates were so late, they agreed and then
quickly asked to get a drink from the water fountain. Naturally, I allowed
them to go since I needed to wait for the majority of my class to arrive.
I looked at my watch and was upset when I noticed the time. A teacher
across the hall asked, “Aren't your students there yet?” When I relayed
the situation, he shrugged his shoulders and went back into his own
classroom. The hallway was awfully quiet, and I was eager to give that
final exam. I walked down the hall several times - to no avail - to see if
anyone was coming. My stomach was turning when I thought about what could
have happened. 'Was there an assembly I had forgotten about? Were they
watching a fight somewhere that none of the teachers could hear? Did I
have the right exam time?'
Before I could run back in my classroom to check my schedule, I heard
footsteps coming down the hall. I was annoyed that after such a great year
with these kids, I would - on their last day with me - have to give them a
lecture about responsibility. I sighed and then observed how peaceful the
steps were coming toward me. There was no commonly heard loud conversation
or resounding laughter. As they rounded the corner and came into sight, the
kids were in single file, “shushing” each other with their hands behind
their backs. They looked at me with purpose, and then, as they turned to
enter my classroom, the first student handed me a single rose. And then
the next student did the same. And then the next, and the next, until each
student walked into my classroom for the last time.
Attached to each long-stemmed rose was a personal message and the signature
of that student. Messages said things like: “Thank you for teaching me so
much this year,” “I'll miss you,” and “You're the greatest.” The roses were
all different colors: red, yellow, pink, and white hues. I was having
trouble holding so many individual flowers, but the last student silently
offered me a large basket and a card signed, “With love from your fifth-
period class,” and then she went into the room.
I stood alone outside my classroom and tried to wipe the tears from my
face. I had to express to them how touched I was by this wonderful gesture,
but I did not want to cry in front of my students. It took me several
minutes to compose myself. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath, walked in
my room and put the basket of roses on my desk without looking at any of
them. I knew they were waiting for my reaction, but I also knew that if I
had tried to say anything, I would not be able to hide my emotions.
At last, out of the silence came a meek voice, “Are you mad at us, Miss
Spengler?” With that, I looked up at my class and surrendered to the tears
streaming down my flushed cheeks. My students bounded from their desks and
surrounded me with hugs and praise as I tried to voice my thanks through sobs.
When I catch myself thinking that teaching is a thankless profession, I
recall those students and their roses. Though they gave their gratitude in
silence, that “thank you” was the loudest and best I have ever received.
By Kristin Spengler Zerbe
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season
we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do
good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Romans 12:10-16 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in
spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;
continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints;
given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the
same mind one toward another...”
1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify
one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know
them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish
you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be
at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are
unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: THE POWER OF ONE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem125.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: THE PINK BIRDS
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony155.htm
In Christ’s Service,
Gods Work Ministry