I’ve never felt I had the spiritual gift of teaching. I appreciate teaching, absorb teaching, value teaching…but never felt that I was able to teach. That’s why homeschooling our children felt so emotional and awkward. I felt like a fish out of water. Turns out, teaching kindergarten isn’t rocket science, especially with great teacher’s manuals! For several years, I was blessed to be part of a Tuesday evening women’s Bible study and learned SO much. Our teacher was excellent and I soaked up all that she presented. It was challenging and rewarding to be part of an intimate group where the Word was central. This Fall, I felt the Lord calling me out of that study. Stubbornly, I clung to that group because it felt comfortable and safe, but when Charlie asked if I would be willing to open our home to others and host a study here, I knew I had to walk in obedience. It was time to move on and time for us to be in a study together.
Not long after that decision, another woman approached me and asked me if I would like to get together and study once a week. What she was really wanting was for me to go through something from the Bible. Insert knot in stomach here. That knot had a deep, twisted root in plain old fear. I admire others’ ability to teach effortlessly, especially from the Word. To be honest, I have to really work hard to understand the Word. For example, my husband can read a passage of scripture and pretty easily name the key points, reference to other related passages and even recall what he has read almost verbatim. I, however, have to really study it out…it involves concordances and websites and usually some pleading with the Lord to “please, please show me what You are saying here!” Because it’s such hard work for me, I hesitated when she asked me. When I shared her request with my husband–and my very lengthy list of reasons why I was unqualified to help her–my husband smiled and just said, “Pray about it.” Drat. He had me there. If I went to the Lord with this, I would have to either obey or disobey, be available or not.
After praying and knowing that this was where the Lord was leading, I timidly suggested that we study Ephesians together. Hubs is teaching from Joshua and the two books complement each other well, so it felt safe to be studying in some of the same subject areas. Nervous doesn’t begin to describe the way I felt as I began to prepare. I wasn’t even sure how to prepare or what to prepare. I wasn’t sure what her expectations were or if she would even like studying with me. What if I missed something key? What if I taught her something wrong?
But I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed my studying! I was nervous and wanted to do a good job, but a peace fell over my studying. I felt the Word coming alive in ways I’d never really enjoyed before. Not that I think I’m a really great teacher but, I’ve had really good teachers–excellent teachers, even–and because of their good work, I am able to pattern after them and build on a good foundation. Each week, I get excited about what God is going to teach me and where He is leading us. And, it’s fun to see what my new friend brings to the study as well! It’s fun and studying was never really fun for me.
Now that I have a couple months under my belt (hardly a pro-haha!), I can see that God was drawing me into a deeper understanding of His Word and His character. And He had to make me a teacher of sorts to get me there. Awesome. His ways are definitely not my ways. I would have been content to stay in my own little world, struggling on, staying with what was comfortable. But His ways take the most unusual, the most unlikely, the most unnatural…and make them work according to His purposes.
Father, Thank You for letting me part of this opportunity. Thank You for teaching me. Thank You for Your Word. And thank You for choosing me to love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.