The past couple of weeks I’ve been a little anxious about a tiny detail in my life — my Bible study. Ok, it’s not a tiny detail. It’s a major part of the structure of my day. I’ve told you again and again about how I get up, feed the dog, make my tea, do my Bible study, and write my blog. It’s my routine. And, guys, I got to the end of my Bible study! It was an eight-week course that required homework five days a week and a weekly gathering with the girls! Now, we are going to continue meeting, but our weekly gatherings are lagging a little behind the daily study, so we need a couple of weeks to catch up in class before we start the next book.
And I need homework — now!
I’ve been looking online for a book study that I can do on my own. I’ve also checked at the library. But, I just haven’t found anything.
I got up this morning and had some time to do my routine when I realized that (gasp!) I don’t have a Bible study!!!
So, I thought, certainly there is a solution. I went to my old standby Biblegateway.com and clicked on ‘devotionals’. And, a few clicks later found a study for women that drew me in. It’s topic? Nehemiah and prayer.
Yes, yes, I hear you, God. I know that it’s good that I have added back the spiritual discipline of Bible study, and I am also aware that although we have spoken to each other recently, we need to start having some daily conversations.
Isn’t it amazing that after all this time God still wants to hear from me every day? I really used to be pretty faithful in prayer. In fact it was pretty standard for my husband and me to join the prayer team about the minute we joined a church. Not sure why it was at the seminary that my prayer life faltered, but it happened. Sure, I still prayed at the beginning of each class period with my students and I bowed my head in prayer at church, but I wasn’t having those daily bare-my-heart to God conversations. And I’m still not.
But that hasn’t kept God from pursuing me, has it? A few years ago, my husband was pressing me and pressing me to have a small group Bible study in our home. Our family was a bit of a mess at the time; our marriage was a bit of a mess, too, if I’m really going to be honest. Why, on earth, would I want to welcome people into that?
My husband was tired of me putting him off, so he finally said, “this Monday, three guys are coming over at 7:00pm for Bible study, you can join us or not.” Well, ok, then. You should’ve seen these three young single guys — a future pastor, a future doctor, and a future physician’s assistant — standing in my kitchen, grinning. I asked if they had had anything to eat, of course they hadn’t. Before I knew what was happening, I had committed to making dinner for them every Monday.
It wasn’t long before three guys turned into twenty young adults — seminarians, med students, scientists, and young professionals. Every week they sat around my livingroom — in furniture and on the floor — studying the Bible, eating, petting Chester, singing, and praying. I’ve told them, but I’m sure they don’t fully understand, that they were a tool of God to begin the healing in our marriage and in our family. They were the most difficult group for me to leave in St. Louis. They were an unexpected gift from God.
And so is my group of sixteen or more lovely Wednesday morning ladies. This, from the self-described butt-kickin’, name-takin’ soldier who doesn’t need anybody thankyouverymuch.
I read the devotion on Nehemiah and prayer. At the bottom of the page, part of the actual devotion, were these words…”consider joining our free four-week Bible study on prayer…it starts today, November 17.”
Seriously? His pursuit is that relentless? Yup.
I went on Amazon, I bought the book, I signed up for the daily email reminders. Guys, I think God wants to hear from me every day. Starting today.
I Thessalonians 5:17