Posts Tagged ‘gather together’

It’s been a while since I joined in a small group Bible study. I’d missed it horribly,  but the times offered at my old church never jived with my schedule. So, it was a desire of my heart I never really prayed about even though I’d mulled it over in my head a few times.

After I joined this new church, I was surprised when one of the ladies came up and asked if I was the Julie Cosgrove who wrote Bible studies. She had seen my one on the unnamed women in the New Testament called What Can She Tell Us? and thought the church’s older women Bible study group on Thursday mornings might want to do it.

At first I was very flattered and said, “Well, sure.” Then that nudge in my soul occurred. Thursday mornings –  fits my schedule. Older women – I guess I qualify.  A way to meet people – okay. But going to a Bible study using my own work? Sure I’d led retreats and given workshops on it, but . . . talk about exposure. What if they didn’t like it?  Who would be more embarrassed? Me or them? Would it taint my acceptance in this new worship group?

Sometimes our answers to prayers come in ways we do not expect. I reminded  myself of my vow this year to be unexpectedly surprised at God’s blessings.  I asked her, “Would it be awkward if I came? I would love to join a Bible study.” Her eyes lit up. “NO. Not at all. Please come!” She bought one copy to preview, flipped through it, and passed it around the small group to get a consensus. I sucked in my breath and slithered away.

The next Sunday, several  of the older ladies approached me. “We love it. Exactly what we were looking to do.” The first lady who had approached me touched my arm and leaned in. “By the way, will you lead it?”  I scanned their faces. The others smiled and nodded.

We met for the first time yesterday. A small gathering in a home. It felt so good to be sharing my faith with other ladies again. The Holy Spirit, like a masterful  tailor, began to interweave us into a bond. I was immediately accepted into the loving friendship of these Christian women who had known each other for years. The knot in my stomach loosened – this isn’t the elementary school playground revisited, Julie.  We were all one in the Spirit and one in the Lord, as the hymn says. God, in His plan, knew this was what I needed.

bible_study[1]We need to gather.  Women with women. Men with men. Young parents with young parents.  Teens with teens. Too many times we think it is all about God and me. But the cross is not just a vertical stick. It is also horizontal. Jesus spread His arms out on the horizontal part to the cross not only to take on our sins but to bind us in Him.  If you are not currently in a small group Bible study, please find one – or start one!

We need each other’s faith to strengthen us, each other’s prayers to bolster us, and each other’s ears to hear the Spirit moving in our lives. This earthly battle is not to be fought alone.



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