Don’t worry. By today’s title you may be wondering if I’m getting on a soap (opera) box. I’m not. I have just come back home from a morning away with younger women who belong to a Bible study. Their leader asked me to come and share my testimony of the Word’s impact on my life.
What a privilege it was to meet them, enjoy a delicious breakfast, and just watch them before sharing my story.
The morning itself was making the day turn out beautifully. (I’m loving the clear blue skies of fall here in South Georgia after the hazy ones of summer). So once all the younger women began arriving, I observed what is true of all women who know each other. Stories of babies, husbands, recipes, outfits, and churches begin to fill a place as the conversations brew like coffee. As coffee’s fragrance wafts through a home, the conversations of friends crescendo amidst laughter and squeals and fill a home, too, like a fresh aromatic blend.
All was good. My soul was nourished listening, watching, touching…the Spirit was there.
After enjoying the breakfast, we circled up in the den and I shared my testimony of the Word’s impact on my life. It’s the first time I’ve shared that story in more reflective form. After a bit of tweaking, perhaps I’ll share it again sometime.
But for now, let me summarize it in three parts here today.
At one point in my early life, I had a hunger for the Word. It would quickly develop into a hunger, after salvation, for understanding and remembering what I read. That hunger would turn into a heart cry in prayer for a desire to learn how to study it for myself. I would pray that prayer for ten years!I was young and I was restless to get into and understand the Word. I was a biblical anorexic.
At a pivotal point in my life as a new mom, God would orchestrate the events of me hearing a radio program while driving around in a car. The blurb beforehand as the program was introduced stated that in that day’s program the author was going to teach the program listener how to study the Word for herself. I pulled over in a parking lot and took notes. A few weeks later I would happen upon a church’s poster advertising a summer Bible study on 2 Peter with materials from this ministry I had overheard on the radio while in the car that day. I signed up for the study and well, here I am today, 22 years later. I’m not the same.I was young and my biblically starved and restless spirit was going to be tended by people God put in my path as well as by the Holy Spirit dwelling within me. God was answering that prayer.
God put that hunger for His Word in me and in His timing He provided the teaching and tools for me to be able to have a study to attend. I soaked it up! I was then, and still am today, so excited to get into the Word. I would eventually end up where I am today desiring to use that gift of teaching to encourage you and others to be in the Word, teaching them how to study it for themselves. Having camped out in the Word in studies in groups and confidently studying on my own He equipped me to go through some trials knowing that He is faithful and that I could trust Him. How else would I have known this about my Maker without being intimately acquainted with Him via His Word? Sure, I could have picked up lots of facts about Him from others, but because I have seen Him for myself in His Word, I am so confident in Who He says He is and what He says He will and can do that I am forever grateful for one radio program 22 years ago.I am not as young any more and God has done some amazing things to steady that restlessness in me. Oh sure, I’m still hungry for His Word, for reading it and understanding it, for teaching it and sharing it with others. But now, that restlessness is shifting as I sit with younger women and recognize the HUGE need in every one of our churches for there to be others in the Word honing their understanding of God based on His Word and the time they’ve spent there so they can pass it on.
So, to the fresh younger faces I looked on this morning, I say to you, “Thank you for listening. Tend the flame of that hunger in your souls.”
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