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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: The Reluctant Student
By Marita Vandertogt



This isn’t so much about the Teacher as it is about the pupil. Me. I have a learning disability and it’s called doubt, or disbelief.

This learning disability kicks in every time I hit a new problem that I can’t handle. Then my only option is to call on Him, and He tries to teach me the lesson of trust all over again.

“So do not fear,” He tells me in Isaiah 41:10. “For I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you.” He reminds me. “and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

He tells me this, and it’s a promise. A promise to all His children. When things are going great, it’s one of my favourite verses. I have it on a plaque card in my apartment as a reference. And look at it from time to time. It has been a verse that sustained me through some very difficult times in the past.

But then, wham. Something new happens that threatens my way of life again, and I panic.. My stability and security are at risk, and down I go. And then the Teacher directs me back to the verse as a reminder of His involvement in my situation. But with each new situation it’s as though I have to learn the trust thing all over again.

“But God,” I say. “That verse is comforting, the promise of Your presence and help is great when things are going okay. But it’s at times like this, when those words are all that I have to cling to, then it’s a whole lot harder. How will I know for sure You’ll come through for me this time.”

And then the Teacher says to me, “remember the past. Remember the things I’ve already brought you through. Will I not do it again?”

And then I say, “Yes, I know You can. I’m just afraid you won’t.”

“And why would this time be different?” His voice in my head is gentle, though He has every right to send me to the back of the room and let me sweat it out. The choice is mine, to trust His promise, or not to trust.

Like I said, this isn’t so much about the Teacher as it is the reluctant student. The one who has to relearn the lesson over and over again with each new challenge.

I can ace this exam, if I just tell Him, thank you, for the promise. I accept it.

And do just that. Allow the truth of the words, His words, to penetrate into my heart and allow Him freedom to work. After all, He’s done it in the past.

He’s right. Why would this time be any different.

Okay Lord, this reluctant student believes. Now please help my unbelief, just one more time.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Aylin Smith 11/04/06
Excellent. I can relate to your article in so many ways. Thank you for sharing.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/05/06
Loved this entry! It helped me to see things a bit differently also. I loved the conversational style and at the end the "help me with the Unbelief" part. You were writing about the pupil...but you also taught me in the process. Thank you.
Deborah Porter 11/13/06
Hi Marita. Please forgive me for contacting you this way, but I'm not sure if you have access to the PM service, and I need to get in touch with you very quickly.

Could you send me a private message as soon as you get this please? Make sure you include your email address. I'll explain when I hear from you (it's about a bio note for the next anthology). Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)