School buildings are closed again. This is news that was hard to hear as we headed into 2022! Even though you have done this before, this current pivot to online school may feel like deep winter to many of you–dark, devoid of warmth, and maybe even feeling hopeless with no chance of spring. A line from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe may have taken on a new meaning: “Always winter, but never Christmas.” Yet, as Christians, we know that the long dark days of the winter season are part of God’s grand design for the earth. Isaiah 55:10, speaks to this:
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.
God does not abandon the world in winter. In fact, it is part of His plan for bringing forth new life. Similarly, God has not abandoned you as a school leader and rest assured, He has a plan for good for you too. Hold fast to this truth as you navigate the many challenges that face you each day! Look for things that give you glimmers of hope. God is there and is working, just like buds are forming on trees, ready to burst forth as the days lengthen and warm.
Be reminded of how Isaiah 55 ends, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush the pine tree will grow, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign which will not be destroyed.” Isaiah 55:12, 13
My devotional reading recently challenged me with this prayer:
Father God, when joy feels so very unrealistic, help me consider where glimpses of joy might be found throughout my day and my week. Open my eyes to see You and Your work among us. Remind me that even in the darkness, You are there! Help me bring the perspective of both disappointment and celebration to my circumstances and keep reminding me that Your plans for me (and my school) are still good. May Your light shine forth through me in the dark days of winter as I lead my community to look towards spring. Amen
Marianne Vangoor is the Director of Leadership at Edvance.