I recently saw a photo on a friend’s Facebook page that was a notebook page with the words “When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test” written on it, and left the comment “And gives the answers if you show up for class and ask.” It’s a quaint phrase designed to bring comfort. Yet, it can be considered a truism of sorts. My first reaction was to remember teachers who would sometimes give pop quizzes when most students failed to show up for class on days when the snowfall in eastern Kansas made it hard to get there. These teachers would write the answers to the quiz on the chalkboard, thus rewarding the brave minority with a few extra points. I don’t think they ever changed the overall outcome of my grades but it was kind of fun to be a part of an inside joke.
Now, I’m thinking about how this applies to the idea of a Teacher who gives answers to those students who make the effort to show up when the weather called life’s challenges seem intent on keeping them inside for fear of the discomfort of braving them. Another “quaint” truism we have all heard is that, “the answers are in the Book (Bible).” True, but we’re still here experiencing the inclement weather, wondering where the shelter (comfort) and the food (answers) are to be found.
As long as I’m throwing out truisms, “seek the truth and you will find it” fits that bill. God is a patient teacher, waiting for that rare student who will make a visit to his office to learn the answers to the questions, whatever they may be at any given moment during their lives.
I went to a school (Kansas University) where many classes had fifty or more students in them. I can tell you the teacher feels just as distant from the student as the student does from the teacher. Be one of the fifty that makes the effort to get one on one teaching from the teacher and they will go out of their way to help you. Not just that day but for the rest of the semester. They’re just like us, they need to know they’re being heard, that what they are doing means something.
I think this may be a fair, if flawed, example of how God feels. He desperately wants to be relevant in our lives and responds in kind to those who reach out to him. Yeah, it’s scary (and quiet) when we are going through tests but having the desire, and let’s say stubbornness, to brave the storms to take the quiz (and get the answers) begins to build a stronger long term relationship with our Teacher.