Opening a preschool during a pandemic is among the hardest things I have done to date. Desiring to ensure the safety of the preschoolers, their families, and the staff made for much weight on my shoulders. Being a leader in such a small role makes me all the more aware of the importance of praying for leaders in all roles: city, county, state, and national levels.
Making changes to our policies and procedures in an effort to keep everyone as safe and healthy as we can, made me realize it is impossible to please everyone. Feeling responsible should anyone get sick also added to the weight. There were lots of hard decisions to make, which lead to an abundance of research and consulting fellow preschool directors whose centers had already opened. While all of these proved helpful, my Bible was also a tremendous help through the decision-making process.
In the book of Isaiah, there is a situation described in chapter seven that helped redirect my focus and lighten my shoulders in such a big way.
There was an attack being mounted against Jerusalem by a neighboring enemy kingdom. When the leaders of Jerusalem were told, the Bible states “the heart of the people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind”.
Have you ever received news, encountered a situation, or dealt with a person who caused a similar reaction as shaking like trees in the wind? If so, you can absolutely resonate with the people who hear that a siege is about to take place.
The messenger of this news, Isaiah, is a prophet. Isaiah tells the king to “be careful, be quiet, do not fear and do not let your heart be faint” because the Lord will make it so that nothing will come of the attack, that it shall not stand nor come to pass. Added to the message is a reminder to the king that “if you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all“.
Isaiah then shares with the king a sign to come that the Lord is faithful. This sign is a baby born of a virgin who will be a Savior, his name will be Immanuel, which means “God with us”. This sign is Jesus, who is a savior from the coming judgement, to those who choose to accept his free-will offering.
Jesus is the answer. It was the answer then to King Ahaz and is still the answer to me now. I am not staring down a mounting attack on my city, but there are other things that you and I stare down daily, and daily our answer is Jesus.
Preceding the message to King Ahaz, Isaiah encourages the people to turn to God, to leave their wicked ways and seek God alone. In this message he says, “He’ll show us the way he works, so we can live the way we’re made“.
This is so beautiful and simple to me. God will show us how he works, through the Bible, through others, and then when we see this, we can live the way he intended us to live, without fear and with trusting in him.
This reminded me of something I see when picking up my twins from high school each day. They are fifteen and have their driving learner’s permit. Since they will be driving themselves to and from school each day, I want them to have all the practice they can get before I am no longer in the car. For this reason, I park in a spot where I can leave the driver’s seat and let one of them drive home.
One day as I waited for them to get to the car, I noticed car after car where a parent got out to walk around the vehicle to take the passenger seat, freeing up the driver’s seat for their high schooler. Remember at the beginning of this article where I stated that opening a preschool in a pandemic is among the hardest things I have done? Giving up control of a vehicle to my child also fits into that category! It is hard, trying, and tough! But, how else will one learn to drive if one does not get behind the steering wheel?
I believe the same is true of my faith and your faith.
How else will we learn what our faith is made of unless we give up our spot at the steering wheel and let God take us where he wills?
How else will we learn to trust God if we do not give things of our life to him?
The preschool has been open for over four weeks and I am continuing to trust God through being in a leadership role during a pandemic. I can already see where God has been moving and working, being grateful that he shows me the way he works, so I can live the way I am made. This way, my shoulders are light, as I cast all my cares on the Lord, for he cares for me, and he cares for you too.