Under His eye, we learn
Learning methods and resources are reaching new dimensions. Learning preferences are on hold. Concerned individuals and institutions invest precious resources in studying, updating, improving, and creating models of education. Experts, providers, and their partners struggle for answers to relevant questions about the future of teaching and learning. A few claim to know what is coming, and yet most believe that it will take a while before we can tell what that future will look like.
One thing is certain, we cannot afford to stop learning, and we cannot learn without the help of those whose calling is to guide and mentor our learning endeavors.
Don’t you wish everyone were able to choose their own instructors and mentors? However, many learners just cannot.
The good news is that in the area in which everybody needs constant learning, no matter how inexperienced or how mature they are, the real instructor makes Himself available to all of us at a cost we can all afford. That thing is life, and the instructor is God Himself.
We need to learn how to live not just the life that COVID-19 can take away from us but especially the life Jesus teaches about in John 11:25 saying, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” Learning about this eternal life costs us nothing but our willingness to submit ourselves to His will and to follow His plans.
Speaking of both lives, the Psalmist tells us, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8). With Him, there is no remote learning. How reassuring! His "loving eye is on” the learner continuously. How does He do it?
Jesus’ teaching methods and content exceeded all that was known then and exceeds all that is known even today. No one has ever deserved to be called “master” in the way He deserved it. Before the end of His earthly journey, He reminded us that our learning from Him would continue under the faithful care of the Holy Spirit: “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:25-26).
The Holy Spirit keeps God’s loving eye upon us, directing us in His way of life. Even in times of injustice, persecution, confusion, and insecurity, the holy, pure, all-knowing, loving eye is there to guide God’s children. Jesus said in Luke 12:11-12 “…do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
It is believed that a lion cannot attack a man who looks him steadily in the eyes. If you never tried it, you are not encouraged to do it now. But we do know that the “roaring lion” mentioned in I Peter 5:8 cannot endure Jesus’ look in His eyes. Jesus does it for us.
Much of what happens in learning is eased by the faith that the learner and the instructor have in each other, and this is expressed through their eyes. We love several biblical accounts of human eyes being healed and empowered by God so that His children could accomplish His mission. Some were eyes of disciples we heard about once and never again, like those reported in Matthew 20:29-34, and some were eyes of leaders in the church like Paul (Acts 9) of whom we heard and know a lot.
It is great that God gives us eyes of disciples and masters, but it is even greater that His are the eyes we really depend on for learning because they never fail. We can always trust His teachings so we can learn His ways. The closer we put ourselves under His eye the better our learning becomes.
About His teaching, the book of Isaiah says, ”This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48:17).
We share the things that we have learned and are learning with COVID-19. As those things change in response to the virus, the church is paying attention, making adjustments, tooling herself for days to come, knowing that it will be necessary to not only make readjustments but probably to unlearn a few things as well. In the midst of it all, it is imperative that the church does not forget the “God who teaches us the best way… and directs us in the way we should go.”
James Cowden Wallace referred to God's eye as “an eye that never sleeps.” Listen to these verses:
“There is an eye that never sleeps,
Beneath the wing of night;
There is an ear that never shuts,
When sink the beams of light;
There is an arm that never tires,
When human strength gives way.
So true! We learn under a Master who never leaves us.
--Board of General Superintendents
To view a video devotional of this message, click here.