Fifth Grade homework can be tough. Last week my son’s computer teacher assigned an “About Me” Google Slides presentation. Each slide had a theme and criteria for creation. Of course, there were the “My Family” and “Favorite Hobby” slides, but the one slide that stuck out to me on the rubric was, “Favorite Scripture Verse.”
While this is my son’s sixth year attending a Catholic school, and we attend church every week, I wasn’t sure my son knew any particular Bible verse, much less which is his favorite.
While making dinner, switching laundry, and helping with other homework, I left him to work on the presentation, and waited for his cry for help.
As expected, his call for “Mom” rang out when he hit the scripture slide. His plea was followed by a demanding, “I need the Bible.” (Insert sarcastic Mom statement about needing more than just the Bible in his life, followed by son’s annoyed eye roll.)
After taking a deep breath and mentally preparing for a meltdown, I asked if he knew any Bible verses that he liked.
To my Biblical surprise, he responded with, “Duh, Mom, I know it’s in Exodus; I just don’t know the exact number.”
Exodus?!? That seemed like an unusual place to select a favorite verse, but who am I to question divine inspiration.
My 10-year-old proceeded to tell me that his favorite verse is when Moses parted the sea allowing the Israelites to flee Egypt unharmed. This is a very powerful scene, but I wasn’t sure what made it inspiring to him. At the risk of being slaughtered by yet another violent eye roll, I asked what it was about the parting of the sea that stood out.
With an air of awe, my boy explained that it had to be really cool to see whales, and fish, and stuff swimming all around but never getting wet. His motivation in this verse came from the visualization of a powerful act that no man could wield without God’s assistance. It wasn’t necessarily in the words of God, but in the actions that my son made a connection.
In scanning for the exact verse, I came across a quote that may be my new favorite verse. In Exodus 14: 10-16 Moses cried out to the Lord because he believed God had led his people to a dead end. Moses was scared and frustrated. (Feelings with which I can totally relate.)
God told Moses, “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today” (Exodus 14:13). All God needed Moses to do was calm down and stick to his faith. Poor Moses! This was probably a tough command when he thought he was being left to die after promising an entire nation of people he and the Lord were there to save them. God went on to explain to Moses that “The Lord will fight for you; you only have to keep still” (Exodus 14:14).
The Lord will fight for you; you only have to keep still.
Here I was frantic over the idea that this homework assignment was another imperative hoop to jump through, and that the million things going on in my mind, heart, and home were all going to implode if I didn’t try to complete them at once. In these wonderful words of Exodus, I realized that I just needed to find a way to be still and let God help battle through my chaos for me.
I am sure many of you are feeling overwhelmed right now. So, please let the Biblical surprise I discovered while helping with a 5th grade homework be your anti-stressor today: “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today. The Lord will fight for you; you only have to keep still.” Put your Intentergy into finding calm and open your heart and mind to discovering what it is you need to do to let God work in your life, and avoid the overwhelm in what appears to be a dead end list of to-do’s. Find faith in the fact that there is power in being quiet and allowing a greater plan to unfold because of attentiveness and hope. We can’t all part seas or save a nation, but we can all part with the craziness that comes from believing we have to do it all on our own.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. What’s your favorite scripture verse?