We know from experience that good fathers want to teach their children and guide them the best way they can through life. Where did this desire come from? From the Creator of fathers, of course, our heavenly Father - who embodies all the best, and much more, that defines good earthly fathering. Therefore, it should not surprise us that God would say to us, "It is My delight, My beloved child, to educate you."
We also know from experience that "school' is not always easy, and even at times, is downright stressful and unpleasant! And yet we can be sure that it is, without a doubt, for our benefit in the long run. Our faithful heavenly Father will always have our best interest in mind as He puts us through the many "classes" that He knows, in His perfect wisdom, are necessary for our education. The lessons He sees that I need may be quite different from the lessons He chooses for you. Let us wisely choose to settle it in our hearts, once and for all, that the One who created each one of us intentionally unique (for His good purposes for us and through us) knows perfectly well the best way to individually educate, nurture, and develop all our inimitable gifts and potential in order that we may each fulfill our singular destinies. So there is no wisdom in wasting our time comparing our "classes" to those of other people!
Instead, let us consider taking into our hand and into our spirits a special little truth that can be an invaluable advantage to us as we go through our Father's education process. It is just this one simple little sentence: "This thing is from Me." (I Kings 12:24) If I will allow these five short words to sink into my inmost soul, they can be as a pillow on which to rest my head when I am weary. When I have to tread rough places along my life's path, these words will smooth the way for me, and when I find myself in the midst of great storms, they will enable me to see the threatening clouds gilded with silver. "This thing is from Me."
Knowing that this brief message comes from the One who says that " he who touches you touches the apple of My eye" (Isaiah 43:4), I can rest assured that all that concerns me concerns Him, too. When we are assured that we are truly "precious in His sight", we can trust Him and all that He sends our way. Yes, our Father will, in His wisdom and in His love, educate His children. But in every circumstance, no matter how difficult and trying, we can know that He is the God of circumstances. In each and every "class" in which we find ourselves, we can focus on these five words, and relying on our Father's infallibly trustworthy character, can accept that we did not come into the circumstances by accident, but that it is the very place God meant for us to be.
Do you find yourself in difficult circumstances where you are often misunderstood, or where your thoughts and opinions seem to not even be considered of any worth at all, and you feel pushed aside as insignificant? Oh, that is a hard class! I wonder what your Father could be desiring to teach you? Perhaps you have prayed to be made like your Lord Jesus. You may not have consciously intended that your request be in the sense of His attribute of humility, and yet would not a "school" in which that lesson is taught be an actual answer to your prayer? Could not these very people around you be instruments in His loving hands to work out His "good and perfect will" for you, His child?
When you are in dire financial straits, finding it extremely challenging to make both ends meet, remember the words, "This thing is from Me". He is teaching you that He Himself is your Provider and wants you to deeply comprehend that His supplies are limitless (Philippians 4:9) A challenging lesson? Absolutely! And yet once learned, as you have become educated in how to utterly depend on Him, how greatly will you please your Teacher by having proved His promises are faithful and true! Believing God - and in His goodness and utter reliability, in the face of all appearances to the contrary - What a class from which to have graduated!
And there are indeed many classes in the good Father's school for His children. Could we ever truly be deeply acquainted with the Son of God, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3), if we never pass through classes of sorrow and grief of our own? And more, perhaps there have been no earthly comforters during our dark nights. Why would our gracious Teacher allow this added pain? Ah, that we might turn solely to Him, and better know Him - who alone can give us everlasting consolation! And again we learn: "This thing was from Me."
The all-wise One, who loves us immeasurably, knows that we have need of "this thing" - although we, with our limited vision, may not now see why. Yet knowing that our Savior has gone before us on every path He takes us down, may we look up into His dear face, even through our tears, and confess to Him our confidence that His grace will be sufficient for us through each trial. As we embrace the essence of these five small words, "this thing is from Me", they can be like an extraordinary lubricant to "grease the wheels" of our ability to accept and handle every challenging circumstance that comes into our lives. If, in our loving Father's chosen school for each of us, we learn to see Him in everything, it will be as though we have discovered an immensely valuable jar of holy anointing oil to use that can wonderfully take the sting out of every trial. May we learn the deep lesson of knowing with all our hearts that His way for His cherished children is best.