A Letter To The Woman in Bible Study,
I don’t know if I’m that good at teaching Bible study anymore. It’s been more than ten years now and how can I describe the experience in a way you’ll understand? Studying God’s word day in and day out, year after year, is like drinking water. Living water. At first you pour yourself a glass from a faucet and it’s a nice and proper glass. You drink and it’s satisfying because it’s from a deep and ancient well that's been hydrating pilgrims for thousands of years. Over time, it’s more like filling up a bucket of water and you take bigger drinks, spilling a little on your soiled shirt. Where I am now, well it’s become gushes of water from a firehose and it’s overpowering. It blows me away on the regular, putting out fires in my soul and in my life.
When I sit down to the table in our classroom, that’s what I bring with me. Maybe you’re new or maybe it’s been a busy week and you haven’t gotten to finish the homework. That’s OK. I’m afraid my enthusiasm can be overwhelming. But how do you take in the greatest truths you’ve ever heard, and downplay them when you finally get a chance to speak them out loud?
Thank you for emailing me. It was brave and honest. You’re not sure that you are ready for such an undertaking. The homework of this particular study feels hard and, again being honest, you’re just not sure it’s meeting you where you are. I can promise you this; stick with it and the Bible will capture more and more of your attention.
My sweet mama was new to Bible study in the early 70s. Although she grew up in the church, she hadn’t been taught there was a God-shaped hole in each of our hearts and only Jesus can fill it. When she learned of this truth, the Holy Spirit began a work in her life from the inside out. She started attending a Bible study at her church. The women there were mighty servants of God. I know because they helped raise me too.
Mom sat with these women week after week and, while she didn’t have their head knowledge of the Bible yet, she had the same love for Jesus. Here’s what she’s told me about those early days in Bible study.
I believe the Holy Spirit was giving each woman what she needed from her time in God’s word. Individually, we all got the specific teaching God had in mind for us.
This has helped me so much over the years. I’m sorry you got a crazy-Jesus-loving lady for a Bible study teacher. I suspect God had something to do with that. Be encouraged. He will meet you right where you are.
Even as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has become more real in my life, Scripture has gotten more confusing. If I may quote one of my favorite Bible study teachers.
There’s a whole lot of Bible. - Beth Moore
See, I’m still learning too. I wrestle with passages, I learn more about translations and context and cultures. The journey never ends. Not for you. Not for me.
All I want is to study the Bible with you. Together, I want us to realize more and more it is a living, breathing gift. God is teaching me to say less, asking my students for more words. If, after some time together, you tell me being in class has given you a hunger for more of God’s word, I’ll know God has blessed our efforts.
I’ve received this the highest of compliments before, from other women. Maybe I’m still a good Bible study teacher after all.