My heart goes out to teachers during this time of year. It’s about now that they are cramming their students’ brains full of last minute facts for the dreaded annual evaluations that are drawing near. These tests help educators determine how much the students have learned during the year as well as how well they’ve been taught.

I’m not sure who hates the tests more – students or teachers.

I was once a middle school teacher. Therefore, I can say wholeheartedly, God bless middle school teachers! There is a special lunchroom in heaven for them.

My heart goes out to teachers during this time of year because just when their students need to be at their peak, spring is at its peak. Spring fever has kicked in and the students are thinking about summertime. Many of them have already checked out for the year. The only math some students are doing is counting down the days until the end of school. They are looking forward to summertime and forgetting what is behind.

The spring season has a tendency to do that. It causes us to be forward looking. We try to put the cold, dark winter days behind us, and we begin focusing on the sunny days ahead. It’s actually a Biblical concept. The apostle Paul wrote,

“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT).

For followers of Jesus, we have an incredible future ahead of us. We can look forward to receiving a heavenly prize from God. It’s not anything we earned, however. It’s only because of God’s amazing grace found in Jesus. It’s a gift! Because of God’s everlasting mercy, we can put the cold, dark days from our past behind us, and we can look forward to warm, sunny days in the light of God’s matchless love. Our hope is not in tests. Our hope is in Jesus who passes us with flying colors not because we earned it, but because He loves us regardless of our efforts.