I just got home from my weekly Bible Study, and I am reminded that studying God’s Word is the best thing I can do to feel better about my life. God meets with us when we read His Word. We hear His voice and discover His way of doing things. I am so grateful for Bible study groups!
Attending Bible study also allows me to learn from other Christians. This is a huge blessing! The ladies in my group come from such different backgrounds and we are each in different seasons of life, but together we share what God has revealed of himself to us through His Word during the past week. The Bible study I attend is all the way across town from my house, so my friend Maranda and I ride together each week. Maranda and I have known each other for about 15 years. Wow! That’s hard to believe! She was the one who invited me to attend this weekly Bible study.
Each week, she and I chat about what has happened over the past week. Sometimes she has the most to share and other times I do. Tonight was a “me” night. I have had a difficult week, and I expressed that I was discouraged because I felt like I should have been handling everything better. You see, I have this picture in my head of the way it would look for me to honor God with my words and actions during difficult times…I should keep a serene smile on my face (Kind of like the one sweet Melanie from Gone with the Wind always had on her face…even while her good-for-nothin’ husband was wishing he was with Scarlett!) I should say spiritual things like, “I’m just trusting God to carry me through this dark time and He’s filling me with peace beyond understanding.” Other people should wonder how I am able to keep it all together and still manage a smile. And to top it all off, my children should “Rise up and call me blessed”! I know this may sound crazy, but I also know it’s true. I want to get it all right. I want to follow God perfectly. Why? I don’t want Him to be disappointed with me. Why else? I want others to want what I have…Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Show the world that God makes a difference in our lives? If I can’t show that to others, then is it true in my life? If I struggle to maintain a positive outlook on life, then what have I said about what I believe the Lord can do in my life? Hum… I think I have more to say about this, but I need to think on it a bit more.
Let me conclude with an idea that Maranda shared with me tonight. God’s grace is ready to be received each and every day. I know that God’s grace is sufficient and that he will give peace in hard times. I somehow confuse this, however, with having a constant state of peace or calm. Maranda reminded me that, like the Israelites had to rely on God every day for manna, I need to go to Him every day for grace. It’s not a one time fix. He will give me grace for the moments. I must “let go and let God” every day. Maybe it does get easier, but it never ceases to be a constant act of my will to surrender myself to the Lord. Be encouraged…our God is bigger than your pre-conceived ideas about how things should be, and He loves you and He loves me too much to allow us to cling to errant beliefs!