This season I realized I was participating in three Bible studies. Three.
Our church is going through Goliath Must Fall by Louis Giglio as a small group experience. Although I read the book last year, this year I’m attending one group as a participant and am hosting another with my husband.
Our Sunday School class just finished Lysa TerKeurst’s It’s Not Supposed to be This Way. As a participant we watched the weekly video and discussion. Proverbs 31 hosted an online study, so I also did that, branching off into a private group where I’ve facilitated a weekly chat with a very small group also going through the study.
Rounding it up is a small group we started to tackle Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind. I read this years ago and the group hit some delays, but re-reading in the midst of the other two studies has been something else.
I’m not going to lie, the information between these studies is overwhelming. There are so many nuggets I’ve gleaned. Principles to apply. Challenges to overcome. So much to surrender at the Lord’s feet.
I’ve also been blessed to look back on situations and find confirmation. I might not have handled everything perfectly, but God was present. He remains good. And none of those rejections and devastation were God’s joke at my expense. He had a purpose the entire time that advanced His kingdom for His glory.
Here’s a couple encouragements I thought I would share.
Years ago I had a mentor who listened to me struggle about God not moving fast enough on behalf of those who were hurting me or those I love. I didn’t get why they seemed to flourish while I was treading water. She gave me a visual that continues to help me to this day, and reinforced what I was reading in Goliath Must Fall.
“Your job is to lie on the couch and watch Jesus leave to fight your battles. When He returns, He longs to curl on the couch with you and talk about His day.”
It sounded so simple, but impossible. Trial by trial I let it go and trusted God, even if I’d never see the results this side of heaven. Although not every situation has played out, one that came to mind was an event where I was clearly facing intentional rejection. The pain was so deep it hurt to breathe, but I knew Christ was calling me to be obedient. I didn’t make waves, I attended with my head held high.
As lonely as it was, I felt God with me. His peace surrounded me. And He arranged such a blessing just for me to know He loved me and had my back. It was a simple gesture, but in man’s rejection, God’s proclamation that I mattered echoed through the walls of that place. It felt so good to know God handled it. None of that pain was God’s joke, even though at times it felt that way.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with all that free time I’ll have once these studies all finish, but I feel so much richer for them. My prayer is that if you are struggling, you will glean the confirmations, principles, and encouragement that God is always present and cares deeply about you and your pain. He has a purpose, an amazing plan for you on the other side of it, and your job is to be still and let Him fight your battles. He’s got you. Always.
Jazmin’s a natural at dance until a series of changes make her wonder if she should even keep up with her favorite hobby.
Lena’s a mom with young children overwhelmed with her schedule when a woman remarks that what Lena does isn’t even important.
Both Jazmin and Lena belong to Linked, a mentoring ministry where all ages encourage each other and build friendships.
Can these two surrender the lies they are believing and realize they are amazing?
A novella for tweens, teens, and women of all ages by mother and daughter team Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini.