The Well is Dry


This is the first time I can remember that I’ve felt like maybe I can’t go on, maybe I won’t make it, and I’m not sure I want to try! I don’t know what else to do with some of these students. …feeling like my work and myself do not have value; I can’t measure up.

The above comments are pulled from my journal, and written at different challenging times in this school year. One day this week I felt like “I don’t know what to do!” That was kind of a scary feeling. I’m in my 32nd year of teaching. I should know what to do! I should have a whole repertoire of ideas and plans for working with students. I’ve taught many challenging students; why can’t I figure out what to do with these two?

This scripture, which came in my emailed verse for the day, really spoke to me:

“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)

I studied this verse, and read some more scripture, as I pondered this question: What do you do when you feel like you can’t go on any longer?

I would like to share some things I thought of. I am still working on this. I think this could be a spiritual problem. I have spent too much time worrying, and trying to think what I can do. I have not prayed about the trying situations enough, or if I have prayed about them, I have not trusted God to take care of them. I have let negative thoughts and feelings rule in my mind, rather than letting “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” keep my heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7) and “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I have tried to figure things out and come up with solutions, rather than entrusting these situations to One who already has the answers. I have asked God to place me in the position and role that He would have for me, but I have questioned changes instead of trusting in His leading.

I need to continue to pray and then trust God’s direction and leading. I must keep studying and absorbing God’s words. I need to reach out to someone, share my struggles, and ask for their prayers.

I may need to take a vacation—to rest, refresh, refuel, and relax. It may be a stay-cation where I just stay at home but avoid being obsessed with schoolwork or seeing how much I can accomplish. I should turn off the phone and computer and have a retreat, spending time in prayer and meditation, sleeping, walking, reading, or getting some garden therapy. I need to take care of myself, making sure I am getting enough sleep and exercise, and eating healthily.

I should get my mind off myself and my challenges and think about others. I can encourage or help someone else. I should pray for others.

I need to remember some of the things I used to do at school. I used to take time before the school day started to stand at the desk of a challenging student and pray for that child. Sometimes I would sit at their desks and pray for them. I would stand at the doorway of the classroom, and, looking over the room and all the desks, I would pray for the class. (I still do some of these things, but I need to revive this and do it more regularly.)

I keep thinking of this song:

My eyes are dry,

My faith is old.

My heart is hard,

My prayers are cold.

And I know how I ought to be:

Alive to You and dead to me.

But what can be done

For an old heart like mine?

Soften it up

With oil and wine.

The oil is You, Your Spirit of love.

Please wash me anew

With the wine of Your Blood.

-Keith Green

“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:1-2)

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