174.

A little over a month ago I challenged my students with the idea of coming up with 100 reasons why God is Great. I gave them a deadline of Good Friday and equipped them with bibles and 100 colorful paper eggs (that I had to unfortunately cut out by hand). The instructions were that they were to have each individual egg show one reason why God is great and a scripture reference that shows an illustration of this trait. At first, they moaned, they groaned, they rolled their eyes and threw up their hands. Thinking there was no way they could ever come up with 100 reasons, let alone validate them through His word, they were ready to throw in the towel before they even began. So, like any teacher who doesn’t actually have a background in teaching, I bribed those kids. They give me 100 reasons, I give them a big old surprise at the end, and a special treat for the student who completes the most eggs. It turns out, this would be the kick in the behind they needed to start caring about how great their God is.

About two weeks into our little challenge I quickly realized that the pile of blank eggs was getting smaller and smaller. Each day my students were running into our classroom to grab bibles and start searching for stories of his greatness. It amazed me how initially they were annoyed at the idea of the challenge and now were annoyed when I’d make them pull out their homework and get started on our activities for the day. I of course chalked this up to them just wanting to win the grand prize and claim victory over me and my challenge. But as I wandered through my classroom going from table to table I would overhear the conversations my students held between each other. They were actually talking about how great God is. They were sharing stories with each other, marveling over the incredible acts of Jesus, the remarkable grace of God. Let’s just say, these kids are far more eloquent than I was at their age. Their eyes were no longer on the prize, they were on Him.

As Good Friday grew closer I was being begged to cut out more paper eggs. They had fulfilled their goal weeks before the deadline, but they hadn’t fulfilled their interest in Him. These children were on fire for God and what they were learning. Thinking of it all now brings tears to my eyes. I can hardly think of anything more beautiful than that of a child who so clearly has an understanding and love for God, truly childlike faith.

On the first day of my job my soon-to-be mother-in-law directed me to Matthew 18 which reads in part…

…truly i tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

As I watched my students identify the greatness of God I pushed myself to see the world through their eyes. A world of simplicity, unadulterated by the troubles of society, pure and carefree. A world where there was no doubt of God, or of how great he is. Watching them marvel in his greatness allowed for me to do the same. I can say now on this beautiful Easter Sunday, I have never known before just how great He is, but I will surely never ever forget.

One-Hundred and Seventy-Four. 

That is the number of paper eggs that now hang around my classroom. That is the number of bible verses that are a constant reminder to me and my students. That is the number of reasons that as a class, we proclaimed why God is Great.

As we celebrated as a class our victory and love for our great God I had each student pick their favorite reason and now I’ll share them with you.

God is great because…

He gives us love.

God gives us new life, so we can start over.

God forgives us.

God gives us bravery.

He shows us the way.

He is decisive.

He saves us even when we can’t see him.

God gives us triumph so we can overcome.

He allows us to praise him. 

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