I can’t remember the last time that I had more than one teacher tell me ‘that theme was so appropriate for today’ following a school assembly.
When this happened a few days ago, it was such an encouraging end to a story that began with me being unsure what to do.
A few weeks ago, I knew that I had some assemblies coming up and I couldn’t decide what the theme would be. Thankfully, the next day was Prayer Wednesday and so I included a request in our Prayer Bulletin for people pray for clarity and the right theme.
As people were praying, I remembered this photo and very shortly the assembly was planned. The assembly was about ‘how we can cope when we feel overwhelmed’ (the carrot looks overwhelmed, right?) and it felt like this would be a helpful theme to the pupils coming into the exam season.
On the Tuesday and Wednesday the assembly went well and then on Wednesday afternoon I received an e-mail from the school informing me that there was going to be an Ofsted inspection the next day.
So, on the day of the Ofsted inspection, I was able to talk to a room full of people who were perhaps feeling more than a little stressed about how we can cope and find peace when we feel overwhelmed.
Part of the assembly focused around the images I shared in Peace at last and it was wonderful to remind people that we can find God’s peace even when we feel overwhelmed in a variety of situations.
I love the phrasing that the Contemporary English Version uses in this verse from the Bible.
God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. (Philippians 4.7 CEV)
When we feel overwhelmed our stress controls us, but God’s peace can help us to overcome what we are feeling and restore control back to us.
I also spoke about Jesus calming the storm and how his words ‘Peace be still’ are still helpful to us as a prayer when we feel overwhelmed.
This really was what God wanted to say to the staff at the school at that particular time and this was evident in the way so many of them thanked me. What was even better is that I was able to share about how the church had been praying to help me to find the right theme with a few members of staff as well.
I was talking with my son about a piece of music that would help us to think about how we can carry on when we feel overwhelmed and this is what he suggested.
Jesus longs to bring peace, life and a fresh start to us!