"If I'd abandon all that seeks to make my faith informed and chic, could You, would You, show Yourself to me?"
~ Nichole Nordeman~
Last spring I was on a mission. A new Bible study had come out, and I wanted it. I had my heart set on it. My "mission" was to actually find it. It had sold out at every store I went to. It seems that women's Bible study groups all over the tri-county area had reserved large quantities of them, so when they came in they were already spoken for or were gone by the time I got there. But...but... I wanted it! So, I drove around. I called. I waited a few days. I called and drove around some more. ( I could've ordered it online, I suppose, but then there's the whole "thrill-of-the-hunt" rush that comes from actually going to find it.)
For the umpteenth time (it seemed) I went to a Christian bookstore looking for this particular study, when my not-thrilled-with-shopping-son finally asked me, "What is it we're looking for?" I replied, "A Bible study I want, son." He paused for a few moments, then looked me right in the eye and asked, "Can't you just, you know, study the Bible?"
I stood there, without my fun, hip, new study, and without an answer. As we left the store ,empty-handed, to go buy a Slurpee, I thought about what he had said. I knew he was speaking from the point of view of a ten year old boy who was simply tired of shopping, but he had a point. So often I feel like I need to have a "Bible study," or be "in" a study. And, goodness knows I can look back at my BSF years, my time in Precepts, and the Beth Moore studies I've done and remember some profound things I learned from some truly gifted teachers. (Not to mention what I've gleaned from the seminarians who are beamed into my iPod each week...) I've been "informed" by some of the best! But my deepest, most embedded truths from God's Word are what He has taught me when I "just" study the Bible. When I have prepared my heart in prayer, come clean before Him, humbly gotten up from my knees and have searched the Scriptures for myself. There are days when certain passages seem to just leap off of the page! I ask Him out loud at times, "Was this always here??"
Yes, I finally got my trendy, new ("chic") study. Yes, it was wonderful. But I haven't forgotten what my wise son said. God has a Word for me, from Himself. He is more than willing through His Word and through His indwelling Holy Spirit to "show Himself" to me. Though it's certainly enriching, I don't have to depend on what He's shown to others. I am still somewhat of a Bible study junkie, and at times I need the accountability that a group study affords.
But mostly I just, you know, study the Bible.
To read more "In Other Words" participants, visit Christine at Fruit in Season. Thanks for hosting us, Christine!