Did you know that, at least according to the footnotes in my Bible, the Hebrew verb for “instructed” means both to shine and to teach? I learned this little bit of trivia the other night as I was praying and reading the Bible, specifically Psalm 19. The Psalm was not really about teaching or instructing but about how we are blessed by understanding and obeying the Lord’s laws and, yet, it was that tiny bit of information in the footnotes that spoke the loudest to me. I have found myself reflecting on it ever since I read it.
My life is all about instructing. I am a home schooling mother. I teach my children everyday. I teach them, or at least attempt to teach them, all that they need to know. I try to instruct them about living a life of virtue, about thinking things through and making wise decisions, about being the person God wants each of them to be, as much as I try to teach them about math, science, and grammar rules. I know that I am very blessed to be a mother and a teacher, but day to day I do not take the time to think about what I am really accomplishing in life. I don't know if I have ever considered that what I am truly doing as I raise and instruct my children is helping them to shine. I don't know if I have ever considered that God is making me shine through the experience of teaching and instructing as well.
Psalm 19 tells us that we are instructed by God’s laws, and will be rewarded for following them. I have been called by God to instruct my children. Because I have answered God’s call, He is able to work on me, to make me shine. As much as I teach my children, I learn even more through the experience. And what I am learning most is how to be the person God has made me to be- how to be more patient, more understanding, more tolerant, and more flexible. I am learning to trust Him more deeply, to keep things in perspective, to let go of my expectations of how things should be and accept things as they are. I am being shined by the whole experience. Home schooling, for me, will never be an easy thing, I will never be perfect at it, but maybe that is precisely why God has called me to it. So I can learn as I teach. So as I instruct, helping my children to shine, I can be instructed and made to shine too.