Have you ever diligently planned for something only to find out you studied the wrong material?
I have the privilege of being part of a very special group of women from my church and our group meets monthly in one another’s homes for devotions, conversation and delicious food. This group of strong godly women have given me the honor of leading our bible studies and it has been so rewarding to me in more ways than I can adequately describe to you. So we had decided to use a book for our bible study and it contains the Bible books of Ruth and Esther. We purchased the books initially for the study of Esther, I thought it would be a great idea to learn more about the woman our group is named after. So, with that being said I was ask, are we to read chapter 1, I replied yes! So, I spent several hours reading through the scripture chapter, the book we purchased and I had additional purchased the commentary companion book to use. We arrived and I started the conversation with a few introductions and explanation about the different names that the king was referenced to between the Greek and Hebrew translations. We decided to listen to the audio reading using my phone to practice “Lectio Divina” and that’s when a “puzzling sense” overcome the room. It became clear that I was not on the same page as everyone one else in the group. I studied and planned the devotional on Esther Chapter 1 which is actually chapter/lesson 4! It was funny and I’m so glad I was able to laugh with everyone. *(In the past this kind of situation would have crushed me and I most likely would have wanted to run away and never face the group again. Praise Be to God I was able to laugh with the group at an innocent misunderstanding and not take it as a personal flaw in who I am). After we all had a good laugh we switched gears and listened to Ruth chapter 1 and then we went through the questions in the book, everyone participated and shared personal moments and God was with us.
Through these wonderful women, who I call my friends; my faith has been strengthened and I see the world through more caring eyes.
So, through “Us” instead of “me” the group was able to spell and study “Ruth” out of “Us and Esther!”
Have you experienced being laughed “at” instead of laughing “with” a group? What I have learned and I hope can help you is this…love yourself enough to laugh at yourself; do not hold yourself to a different standard from others; no one, not a single human being is perfect. Jesus is the only one being perfectly human and perfectly divine. You were not created for perfection. God loves you! You are unique and special to God. Don’t allow others to put you down to be a part of their group, you are more valuable than that. Be bold and be brave, I don’t use these words lightly. Life can’t be about regrets, we all learn through our experiences and some of the lessons I’ve learned through difficulties have helped shape me into the person God created me to. Life really is about changes, every day is a new opportunity to do things differently.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” ~Psalm 139:13-14
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” ~Romans 12:3
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17
“It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor.” ~Hebrews 2:6-7
“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth.” ~Ephesians 3:17-18
“…knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” ~1 Peter 1:18-19
~Blessings and Peace~