I know from my training as a teacher that homework is supposed to be meaningful and purposeful. Recently, my son had a homework assignment that was certainly just that, perhaps more so for me than for him.

He was completing the last of 12 organizers related to a unit on Rome. Though I had seen him working during the last couple of weeks on all of them, I hadn’t really been looking at the organizers very closely. This last one he brought home to finish was the only one that I stopped to take a closer look at. He was making a standard that had an eagle on top of it. Standards are the tall poles topped with various emblems and symbols held up during battle. Each Roman century, cohort, and legion had its own standard.

As I read the homework information about standards, I learned that officers called “signifiers” held these standards and that they stood out because they wore animal-head skins on their heads. Other interesting facts that jumped out at me were that the standards were seen above the action and that they were a source of pride and unity. The eagle standard was the most important in each Roman legion. It symbolized the power of Rome and the honor of the legion.

The more I read, the more excited I became at God’s ability to use a third grader’s homework assignment to speak to a mom’s heart. It also speaks to God’s amazing ability to take things applicable to life to make his point to us.

With dinner cooking and glue on my fingers from helping my son, I ran to grab my Bible to locate a Scripture that came to mind.  My husband and son looked at me wondering what I found so interesting about this assignment. I flipped to Isaiah 59:19, which says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (NKJV).

This Scripture came alive to me as I thought about the Holy Spirit as a “signifier” of sorts, symbolizing God and his power and how it’s the Spirit of God that brings unity in the body of Christ. In thinking about life’s battles, we can look above our circumstances to see that standard (it can be seen above the action!) and be reminded whose unit or cohort we are a part of.

If I had to be part of any unit in battle, I cannot imagine a better one than God’s! If a Roman legion lost it’s eagle or had to fall in battle, the legion was disgraced. How comforting to know that this would never be the case as part of God’s army. Now that’s something to take pride in! God will never lose or be disgraced. He’s already won. We have a promised victory in every battle in life, and the ultimate battle has already been won through Christ.

My son finished making the standard, and I also finished dinner without burning it.

by Seantele Holbrook


“I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.” Psalm 30:1

Father, thank you for your unique way of bringing understanding and encouragement to us through the Bible. May our eyes and ears be open to recognize and receive the many ways you want to speak to our hearts. Amen.

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