I’m probably not supposed to confess this, seeing as how I seek to teach women about the bible (I’ll let you know next week if I still have my job)… but here goes:
For the last year and a half, the bible has not excited me.
Getting up in the morning, opening that book, and immersing myself in that black on white lettering has been a dutiful chore with a distinct lack of joy…
I would check it off my list (as any dutiful, Bible Belt Christian does) and go about my day, never once thinking on the words that had earlier passed before me.
Lacking motivation, I was drained.
And then a small thing happened… Or really rather, two small things.
First, I read through the book of Isaiah (again, out of duty) and second, I started meeting with a group of women on Sunday mornings (because of happenstance).
One would not seem to have anything to do with the other, but they do… Beautifully so.
You see, five years ago, in the midst of life-as-I-knew-it, falling apart, losing friends, staring down the broken path of my marriage and wondering if I would ever feel whole again, a sweet friend, whom I had met through a part-time job, asked if I wanted to read through a book of the bible.
I did. Desperately so.
For the next four months, she and I made notes, discussed, marveled, were confused, and just sunk deeper into the magnificent truth of God’s sovereignty (weighty and weightless, all at the same time).
Fast forward a few years to a season of change, separation, loss of community, moving, and stepping into new roles and you get a woman who’s floundering and needing more of something, but exactly what, she’s not sure.
So I opened to Isaiah and felt like I was home.
It took me back to those months of the bitter and the sweet and the overwhelming understanding of God’s goodness and presence in the midst of my chaos and grief.
When you read the bible to teach, you can easily lose sight that God wants to speak to you, not the masses. You forget that the Bible is God’s intimate, personal letter to you, not just to groups of people sitting in chairs every Sunday morning.
However, my downfall is being an internal processor followed by verbal untangling. This means I sit on ideas, hopes, possibilities, frustrations, and conversations for days, even weeks at a time, mulling them over. Then I need to talk through all I’ve been thinking on.
For God’s word to soak deeply into my heart, I need conversation.
And I wasn’t getting that.
Let me take a moment to assure you that I was getting conversation. Brilliant, soul-level, convicting conversation.
But what I needed was conversation about what I was reading in the Bible with someone reading right alongside with me, and that wasn’t happening.
Randomly (because we all know how “random” everything is), one woman asked me about getting together to read through a book of the bible.
She was desperate to learn, and I was, well, desperate… (don’t worry, I played it cool).
This one woman then turned into two, then three, then four, five, six, and now, incredibly, SEVEN women.
All different ages, marital statuses, and backgrounds. All different levels of belief, spiritual maturity, and bible knowledge. But they are all seeking and desiring the same exact thing: to know God more.
It’s been a few beautiful months of gathering, grasping, grappling and marveling.
My heart was refreshed and renewed in ways that I didn’t know I needed.
My passion and excitement for God’s word has been rekindled… All because God met me where I was with exactly what I needed.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. (Phil 2:1)
The encouragement that is found in Christ is to find like-minded believers and pursue the glory of God. The best way to do that? Start simple.
Gather some women. Encourage one another. Pray for one another. Hold each other accountable.
Do these things when you find yourself becoming bored by the Bible and watch God grow your affection for him as you grow in the wisdom and knowledge of who He is.
– Laurel Ewing, Women’s Ministry Director
For some helpful resources, please check out these sites from leaders we trust: