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Be still and know I am God.

(Psalm 46:10)
A Broken Dam - Part II__________________
Gloria Garcia, a high school English teacher, finally left school for home the day of her
“breaking.” (See week thirty-three devotion “A Broken Dam - Part I.”) She knew she had been
touched by God and was being held in his hand but she had never felt so spiritually thirsty and dry.
That night after she had served supper and her three young children were in bed, she found buried
in the bottom of her bedroom dresser, the Bible she had been given twenty years ago when she
had completed her church confirmation class. She smelled the simulated leather cover and it brought back many memories of the
carefree days of her youth when she had felt so much closer to God. She remembered, for a brief period of time, when she used to
read her Bible each night before going to bed and said her prayers. She remembered how content and happy she was. Gloria clutched
the Bible tightly in her hands and headed for the screened in back porch of her home.
On the table on the back porch were the two letters that had been written at school during her experience with Jesus. She had
immediately set them there after coming home from school. Gloria opened the Bible to Matthew 4 and placed the letters in the Bible
beside her favorite childhood story, Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. She now felt as if she was coming out of a long spiritual
wilderness desert experience where she too had been constantly tempted, especially at her job at the high school. She had been
constantly tempted to make it an idol, the highest priority in her life.
Gloria reread the story of Jesus’ temptation, now with adult eyes and understanding. Several of the sentences seemed as if
they were written in neon and seemed to jump off the page at her. The first illuminated passage was, “And you shall worship the Lord
your God and serve Him only.” The other passage was the first words Jesus preached after he left the wilderness: “Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Gloria set the Bible down and then just simply spoke to the Lord from her heart. “Lord, I repent for letting so many things,
especially my family and work, come between you and me. Help me and lead me Lord. I want to worship and serve you above my
family and job but I need help. I need you to show me how to rebalance my life, my priorities, yet still get all of my school and house
work done which seem to grow in size with each passing year. I would truly like to experience heaven on earth in my job which seems
to get darker and darker and more burdensome each year. Lord, I know I need to spend time alone with you and do more than sit on a
pew and listen to others spiritually encourage and inspire me. I need to be a player on your field in my home and in education and not
just a spectator on Sunday mornings. Help! Help! Help! Lord, I feel awkward speaking to you here alone on the porch. I feel like I did
with my husband on our first date. What should I do and how should I spend this time alone with you now here as an adult? I know you
want more than for me to just read a chapter of the Bible and recite the ‘Now I lay me down to sleep…’ prayer.”
As Gloria finished speaking a construction paper art project from her confirmation class fell out of the back of her Bible. It was
a ladder made of string and brown construction paper. On each wrung from top to bottom it read:
Praise and thank him. (Thank God for all the good and great things in your life.)
Repent (Tell God what you are doing wrong and that you are sorry and need His help.)
Ask (Ask God for help and for things that you and others truly need in your life.)
Yield to God. (Be still, listen, and obey him.)
She also saw the note that went with the project that said, “You start climbing this ladder from the bottom to the top.” What seemed like
just more information as a teenager seemed now like a brightly lit path or stepping stones to get out of the dark hole which for several
years had seemed to be getting deeper and deeper.
For the first time in her life she was simply still before God, not doing anything but resting. In this silence she felt his tangible
presence once again, just like in her classroom, and the Lord brought to her mind, “Could you not stay awake with me one hour?” and
“Mary did the greater work.” Then came from her inner most being a torrent of praise and thanksgiving to God for the many ways he
had blessed her life, her marriage, her children, as well as her students, and coworkers at school. As she spontaneously praised God
she felt her hidden depression leaving her, like large chunks of concrete from the wall of a dam being washed downstream. When she
was finished praising him she found herself quietly singing her favorite Christian childhood song which had been written by her Sunday
school teacher, “The sun rises in the east. A new day it is dawning….”
Gloria looked at the clock on the porch wall and realized she had just spent her first hour alone with Jesus in her entire life. In
her heart and mind she heard Jesus saying as she left the back porch, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Prayer: Lord, we commit to time alone with you in order to build our personal relationship with you, our first love.”
Reflection: Does God want me to spend time alone with Him? When, where, and how do I spend time alone with God?
Application: Spend time alone with Jesus, your first love. Ask Him how, when, and where He wants to meet with you. Ask Him to help
you commit to and schedule all other things around this special time with Him.

CLASSROOM LIGHTHOUSE SERIES: Fields of Faith in Education (For info. or prayer contact ceaihouston@sbcglobal.net.) WEEK 34