Can You Teach Me?

Written by Geo Bowman

Right after I graduated from college, I got a job as a Language Arts teacher at a private school in Costa Rica. Kay, one of my 7th graders, was one of the smartest and most kindhearted young men you’ll ever meet. His life had been marked by suffering and loss, yet he always had the best attitude in class. One day, I noticed his shoes were untied. When I saw that, I asked him to tie his shoes so he wouldn’t fall. I will never forget the way he looked at me; he looked somehow embarrassed and just looked down. I never thought a simple request would make someone feel that way, but what I didn’t know was that he had never learned how to tie his shoes. See, Kay lost his mom when he was young, and his dad was an alcoholic who was in and out of his life. He grew up with his elderly grandparents who raised him the best they could. Some of his classmates were around him, but instead of making fun of him for not knowing how to tie his shoes, (a critical skill you are supposed to learn between ages three and five, not age twelve!) they decided to teach him how to tie his shoes. For the next week or so, they instructed and guided him. They would come up with different methods to help him tie his shoes. I will never forget his face the day he tied his shoes for the first time. We all clapped and celebrated for our friend!

The other day, this sweet memory came to mind when I was reading Psalm 73. Verses 24 and 25 say: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” One of my favorite things about God’s character is His desire and willingness to teach and guide us, but for some reason, oftentimes we find ourselves either not asking for help or asking the wrong people to teach and guide us. Instead of going to Him, the one who is infinitely wise and whose counsel is always for our good and for His glory, we go somewhere else or keep our requests to ourselves. I believe the reason why some of us do this is because we somehow think our Father is too busy or far away, and because of that, He really doesn’t have the time or the energy to teach and lead us. Maybe, like my student Kay, we feel embarrassed to even ask for help for things that seem insignificant. Or perhaps, we feel as though our need for guidance and instruction is not too deep or spiritual, but mundane and ordinary. I want to encourage you today, my dear friends; I want to remind you that the Lord is so eager to hear from us. He wants to instruct us first and foremost in His ways, but He also wants to guide and lead us in our daily lives. In fact, not only does he want to do it, he is eagerly waiting for us to come boldly to his throne of grace to ask for help. It doesn’t matter if we are three year old Christians or twelve year old Christians wanting to learn how to tie our shoes, He is ready to teach and guide us. Here are some questions I would love for us to meditate on: Are we going to Him for help? Are we coming to Him with open hearts and honest requests? Is He the first person we go to when we need guidance, help, or counsel? I love how Asaph, the author of this Psalm, not only knows that God in heaven will guide him, but he also understands that there is no better place for him to go. There’s nothing he desires more than being guided and led by the Lord. This revelation and understanding will only come to us when we continuously come to Him to ask for His right hand to guide and lead us—from the most spiritual to the most ordinary matters in life. Most of our growth and transformation in Christ happens in our day to day lives. The Lord wants to lead us every day of the week, not just on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights. He wants to teach us to follow His commands and the way of Jesus, but He also wants to teach us how to be better sons and daughters, wives and husbands, friends, and neighbors. He wants to teach us how to steward our money and how to be better administrators of what he has given us. He wants to teach us how to take good care of our bodies and how to honor Him in every single aspect. He is ready; the real question is: Are we ready to come to Him and say: Can you teach me _______________________?      

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