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German Classes Again

by | Sep 10, 2021

I started my seventh year of German classes yesterday. You’d think I’d be fluent by now! As soon as I arrived in Vienna, I immediately started to attend classes to learn German. The only German that I knew was from the old sit-com called “Hogan’s Heroes” that was on TV back in the ‘60s. They would use phrases like, “Jawohl, Herr Kommandant” and “verboten.” But that was it. Little by little, I’ve picked up some important vocabulary in order to survive, but I’m still not very good. My best sentence is, “Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut.”

I had easily learned French and Spanish when I was a teenager, but learning German as a middle-aged woman has been way more difficult. I try not to get discouraged. Instead, I keep asking God what He is teaching me through this process. Here are a couple of my thoughts:

God uses difficult situations like this to emphasize our need for Him.

  • I sure get this one. I’m a very independent person. In fact, one of the things that scares me the most about getting older is that I will lose my independence and will have to rely on others. God doesn’t want us to try and do things on our own. He wants us to trust in His strength when our weaknesses show up.
    • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God wants us to live in community. He knows that we need fellowship with both Him and with other believers.

  • Needing others to help me with all the German that comes across my desk has allowed me to form deeper relationships with my colleagues. We sometimes receive information about Covid regulations every day, and most of the time it includes documents of up to 30 pages long – all in German! Believe me when I say that I must rely on others to help me interpret what we are to do as a school. My colleagues are an encouragement to me, even as they help me with my German.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

So today, as I reflect on the start of another German class, I try to remind myself that God is using this experience to teach me to rely on Him and on others. It keeps me humble, knowing that anything that I accomplish is really God just working in me. What is God using in your life to show you your need for Him? It may be something as simple as learning German that God is using to teach you to rely on Him.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director