I have a very vivid memory of stepping into the shower — my alone-space where maybe I could think two coherent thoughts in a row — in total despair over some end-of-my-rope issue with some under-age-five child. He (or possibly she, I don’t remember which child it was, but I can make a pretty good guess) was clearly resistant to any approach we had tried while addressing his (or her) current problem, which I also don’t remember specifically. (Biting, sassing, refusing to obey are all possibilities.)
What I do remember is the verse the Holy Spirit pulled up from my mental stockpile and gently encouraged me to actually believe. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
So I prayed. I asked God for wisdom, and it turns out He was ready and willing to give it to me! It was an ah-ha moment where something I had been reading in the Bible and something I had been reading in a book suddenly meshed together in my mind. I got out of that shower with new courage and strength, wondering why I hadn’t thought to ask God for help earlier!
That experience changed the way I looked at the difficulties in my life. God wanted to give me wisdom in the midst of them. He wanted me to grow in wisdom because of those difficulties. The trials — whether they were challenging children, health problems, financial need, or the multitude of other troubles we faced from day to day, were (and still are) there for my good.
I’m looking forward to studying James 1 with those of you who want to join me! The first chapter of James’ letter speaks of wisdom, of trials, of prayer, of riches and poverty, of perseverance and temptation, of listening before we speak, and of actually putting into practice what we’ve read and heard. For thirty days we’re going to study what James says about living the gospel . We’re going to think hard about how our faith affects our actions and attitudes.
If you have never done a Busy Mamas Bible Study with me, it’s not complicated. We’re going to do some deep study, but you only need 5-15 minutes a day, and those minutes can be in little snatches here and there throughout the day, if that’s all you can manage.
We’ll be marking words in the text, making lists, studying words, comparing translations, referring to commentaries. When we’re done at the end of the month, you will not only know James 1 better; you will also know how to study better!
Here’s what you need to do to join us:
(1) Subscribe to “The Doorposts Blog.” (If you received this post in your email, you’re already subscribed.) Look for the subscription box in the right hand side bar.
(2) Respond to the confirmation email we send you. (It may try to hide in your junk mail or other random place, so be on the lookout for it.)
(3) Gather a few colored pencils, a pen and notebook, and your Bible. (If you feel like treating yourself, invest in some nice, soft-leaded Prismacolor colored pencils. But any kind will do.)
(4) Look for the first lesson in your inbox on Wednesday, November 1. (If you don’t find it there, go to www.doorposts.com/blog. The lessons will also be posted there each day.)
(5) Optional: Join the Busy Mamas Bible Study Facebook group if you want to share insights, pictures, questions, and resources with others who are doing the study.
(6) Optional: Read this post, too, for some encouraging ideas, if you’re wondering how in the world you could possibly study the Bible with a house full of children, or with a baby that keeps you awake half the night.
(7) Optional: Consider doing the children’s lessons that are included at the end of each of your daily lessons. These will help you talk about what you are learning with your children! (Click through some of the lessons from our last study — on John 15 — to get an idea of what the children’s lessons include.)
That’s it! There’s no charge, no books to buy. I hope you’ll join us!