One evening a week, my empty nest is full. Full of ladies with Bibles and notebooks in their hands. Full of cups of hot tea and something yummy to enjoy.
And my heart is full. Full of good words of encouragement straight from God’s Word to share. Full of joy at using one of the gifts the Lord has blessed me with – teaching.
For the last couple of years, God has been nudging me to step back into the ring, not as a prize fighter but as an encourager. A teacher. One who shares what she’s learned with others in hopes that blessings will be poured upon the learner.
I’ve always been a teacher. I trained for it in college and earned a degree in English Education. I briefly taught in public school and relished my role in recent years as a substitute teacher in a private school. I’ve taught young children, teenagers, and adults in church settings more times than I can even remember.
For well over a decade, I taught relationship and character-molding programs to students 6th through 12th grade in my role as an education director for a non-profit organization.
And years ago when this nest first became empty, I used my gift of teaching in leading Bible studies for women.
So, I have the experience. I have the background. I have the ability. I just kept telling myself I didn’t have the time.
Then one Sunday morning during his message, our pastor said this, “If God’s calling you to do something and you say you can’t, it’s because you won’t.”
Oh my! Bulls-eye. That comment aimed like a swift arrow hit me right between the eyes but more importantly right into my heart. In this case, God’s push became a shove.
After worship service, I told Pastor how God spoke to me through that morning message and that I needed to start a Bible study for ladies in my home. Pastor grinned and told me to go for it.
As if I needed confirmation, the next day a friend from my church, who had been a part of Bible studies I led years ago, phoned me to talk about an upcoming event. As our conversation continued, she asked me if I ever thought about leading Bible studies again in my home.
I laughed. Out loud. She was puzzled as to why I was laughing until I told her I was in the process of beginning that very thing.
I decided to hold the study in my home because I wanted those who attended to feel physically comfortable. I wanted us to gather in a welcoming room on comfy seats in my spacious home instead of a church building classroom with metal chairs or a sanctuary filled with wooden pews.
And my desire was to make the gathering personal. A chance for women to meet, share experiences, and delve into God’s Word to learn something we all hope to attain – contentment in this world where we may feel so dissatisfied a good bit of the time.
The Apostle Paul learned to be content in the midst of extremely difficult life circumstances. He wrote in Philippians 4:11-13: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
God’s Holy Word is full of lessons for life and it’s not enough to just read the Bible. We must study it and apply it to our lives.
That’s my hope in leading this Bible study. That we aren’t just hearers of the Word, but doers. And that will make my heart, in this empty nest, content.
“Contentment is just the realization that God has already provided for me today all that I need for my present peace and happiness.” ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss