Good teachers take the time to know their students. They watch. They listen. They learn. They do this, because they know if they can understand their students on a personal level, they can better teach them. It was true when I was young with my chemistry teacher in high school. After a few weeks of ‘not performing well in class,’ he approached me and said, “I don’t know why you’re here. You’ll never figure this out!” I was outraged, and spent the remainder of the year proving him wrong. At the end of the year, I approached him and said, “See? You were wrong. I could do it.” I will never forget his response. “I knew you could. You just needed a bit more incentive.”
Some teachers might think he took a gamble on my willingness to prove him wrong. Others might recognize his ability to ‘study me’ for a few weeks to better understand me, so he could use what I needed to inspire me. God is the same way, except that He doesn’t need to study us. He already knows us. He already knows what we need to be inspired. He already knows what we are capable of, because He is The Good Teacher.
Today, the Church commemorates the memory of Abraham and his nephew Lot. They are among the foundation of the Church, as important as any righteous figure in the Scriptures. Abraham is the father of many nations, not by birth but by faith. He proved his faith to God in his choices and loyalty. His willingness to sacrifice his son despite his love for him, has blessed us, but I don’t want to focus on his efforts in today’s blog. Today’s blog is about The Good Teacher.
God knew that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, so why did He send Abraham to mountain top? He did it to inspire you and me, these thousands of years later. We are ones who look to Abraham’s loyalty and God’s faithfulness and think, “We can do that too!” We are willing to sacrifice our closest treasure for God when He asks us. I guess maybe, if He hasn’t asked us yet, either we are not in fact willing, or the need hasn’t arisen yet.
My chemistry teacher waited for the right situation to challenge my devotion. Too soon or too late, and I would not have responded the way he wanted me to. The same is true with God. God watches our daily actions and knows what we need. He may whisper in our ear one day, “Read this,” or another day, “Go there.” These are the quiet moments that God is watching and preparing us for the day when we need to trust the ‘big ask’ like Abraham did.
Long before God asked him to sacrifice his son, Abraham had been listening to God. He had learned to trust God. God had many times before proven Himself to Abraham. The ‘big ask’ wasn’t the first interaction they ever had, nor will it be the first time you and God interact. From the time you were born, God has been speaking to you, whispering sometimes, screaming out other times. In each interaction, you can find God’s faithfulness to you. He has proven, if you look, that He knows you better than you know yourself.
When the time comes for the ‘big ask’ you can trust that He knows what He is talking about. He knows what you are capable of, and just as He did with Abraham, when the time comes, He will be with you every step of the way up the mountain. You will have nothing to fear, because He has been preparing you for this moment, and you will be ready. When it is all said and done, you will approach Him with joy and He will say to you, “I knew all along you could do it.” This is true, because He is The Good Teacher.