How To Show Them God Is Good?

Renee Ann Smith —  September 21, 2015 — 17 Comments

If you’ve stopped in here often enough, you know that I’m an enthusiastic bookworm! One of my favorite aspects of being a teacher is sharing books and stories with my class.

Recently, I assigned my junior high students an older short story called The House Guest by Paul Darcy Boles.

The story focuses on Bridgie, a 9-year-old girl growing up in Ireland during the troubled years, when the IRA and the British troops faced off in the streets.

In the story, an international organization brings Bridgie to America for a few weeks. This gives her a respite from her day-to-day existence, where kids go hungry and live their lives to the background sounds of gunfire and grief.

Bridgie never gets enough to eat and jumps when cars backfire and still misses the dog her family was too poor to keep as a pet. She is quiet and gentle and brave.

Bridgie spends her few days in America, not gathering up material things to take home with her, but in making life better for others. After being gifted a leather craft kit, she makes pet collars and chases down the stray dogs in the neighborhood to give each of them one.

She tells the dogs, “You can hold your head up, now. And don’t be trying to scrape [the collar] off or lose it. It’s your ticket to some fine homes. They’ll feed you up. They’ll think you’ve been a pet and believe you’re valuable.”

That’s the part I choose to read aloud the day we discuss the story. The poignancy touches our hearts. My students are silent thinking of that sweet, brave girl who wants to make sure that even the lowliest of creatures—the stray dogs—feel valued and find homes.

Solemn-eyed and serious, they contemplate a world where too often kids end up being less valued than lost dogs.

They wonder what life is like for kids in North Korea and China and Syria and the places they’ve heard adults mention. What are those other kids going through? How do they find reasons for hope and the courage to face another day?

My students are no strangers to sorrow themselves. In our little class, students have lost mothers to cancer and mental illness. They’ve lost fathers to addictions and imprisonment.

My class remembers the devastation of Hurricane Sandy a few years back and the tragedy that happened an hour south of us at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

They’ve learned that the world can be a scary place and have wrestled with feeling . . .

  • Hurt
  • Fearful
  • Insignificant
  • Powerless

My heart aches to see the awareness in their young faces.

And I find myself asking, how do we show them . . .

That God is with us
That His heart is loving
That when everything around them quakes, He is our ROCK
That—no matter the evidence to the contrary—HE IS GOOD

We have a great calling—to show our young ones that though the world is not always kind or just, God is both!

Lord, give us heart renewal that we might be equal to the task.

And guard our next generation from the fiery darts that would steal their joy and shipwreck their future. 

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society.
Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.
Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause
to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns.
You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.”
Philippians 2:15&16, The Message

God Is With Us(Feel free to share this graphic!)

“I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing:
to live with him in his house my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate His beauty; I’ll study at His feet.
That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world,
the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.
God holds me head and shoulders above
all who try to pull me down.”
Psalm 27:3-6, The Message

God is our very present help in times of trouble

(Feel free to share this graphic!)

 Let’s look for glimpses of His glory today. Blessings, friends!

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This week I might be linking up with  Motivation Monday, Reflect, Small Wonder Link-Up, Playdates with God, Book Musing Monday, The Art of Homemaking Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop,Monday Musings,Modest Mondays,  Make Your Home Sing Monday, Busy Monday, Good Morning Monday, Ra Ra Link-Up, Soul Survival, Turn It Up Tuesday,Titus 2 Tuesdays, Testimony Tuesday, Intentional Tuesday, Enchanting Rose, Raising Homemakers, Woman to Woman, Hope In Every Season, A Little R&R, Wake Up Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays,Wise Woman Wednesday, Words with Winter, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, World-filled Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Mom’s Morning Coffee,Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Beloved Brews, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Live Free Thursday, Thought Provoking Thursday, From House to Home Link Party,Grace at Home, Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday Faith & Fellowship Friday,Friendship Friday, Equipping Godly Women, Freedom Friday Friday Features Link Party, Fridays Unfolded, Everyday Jesus, Grace and Truth, Dance with Jesus, Coffee Date (end of month), Paula’s No Rules Weekend Hop, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Soiree, Saturday Situation, Still SaturdayFresh-brewed Sundays, What I Learned This Month, Sunday Features, and The Sunday Community.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

17 responses to How To Show Them God Is Good?

  1. It’s so important to let others, specially the young ones to see God reflected in us! They learn from the adults. We must show them and let them know through our lives that God is good, no matter the circumstances. Love this post! I’m visiting you from Literacy Musing Link Up.

    Blessings,
    Tayrina

  2. Oh, I love sharing books and stories with my kids – there’s just so much to learn. Your students are blessed. Thank you for the heart you put into your work with them.

  3. Fiction has such a huge role in teaching about life skills etc. but also about faith, hope, and love. Thanks for teaching, thanks for writing. Thanks for being you. Blessings to you and your students!

  4. I love the power of story – whether it be fiction or non-fiction… words/stories carry power and hope and life or death… what a great book to share with yur students!

  5. Hi Renee … I love your passion, your zeal, your burden for the next generation. Inspiring in this day, in this culture, in the craziness in which these students find themselves.

    Bless you!

  6. I love how Bridgie found a ministry, a calling on her life to make a difference. What gifts (or kits) have we been given that are waiting to be used? Enjoyed stopping by through #IntentionalTuesday.

  7. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing the story, but I love reading your heart for your students in the challenges they have faced. They are blessed to have such a caring teacher to pour into their lives educationally and spiritually. I always enjoy my visits to your blog!! Linking with you at Coffee for Your Heart.

  8. I agree with Ginger above, your students are blessed to have a teacher who cares so deeply for their souls. Beautiful post.

  9. What a lovely story. The part you read aloud is very poignant indeed! “They’ll think you’ve been a pet and believe you’re valuable.” Since God chose us, we can hold our heads up high. We are His children!

  10. Love what you said about our calling to show children that even tho the world is not always just or kind, God is. Beautiful! I’m inspired!

  11. “We have a great calling—to show our young ones that though the world is not always kind or just, God is both!” With two kids of my own, this really spoke to my heart. I can’t imagine not having the truth of God to come back to when the world is unjust and unkind. I’m so thankful that I get to share with my girls an amazing God they can trust to be faithful. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Alyssa

  12. Wonderful post, and I love the title!

  13. I had never heard of that book before. Thank you for sharing a powerful snippet from it.

    Thanking God that your students have you in their lives, a testimony to them of your life in Christ. I’m sure it shines through brightly. 🙂

    May we all shine the light of Christ.

  14. Stopping in from Faith Filled Friday!

  15. This is a wonderful thing to do for your students 🙂

  16. I LOVE that translation of Psalm 27. Thanks for sharing this post at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  17. I love the picture you have painted here, Renee– both with your as-usual stellar graphics but also with your words. It is lovely. Thank you so much!

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