Thursday, January 22, 2009

Passing the mantle

Several years ago, I began teaching ladies' Bible study first in my church and then as a community group, as I've told you before. Not long after I began the community study, I was chatting with a member of the group. I don't remember the exact context of our conversation, but I do remember her saying to me in regard to the Monday night study that it may well be something the Lord would have me start only to pass it on to someone else.

I wish I could say I received her words as she intended them, as an encouragement and a release. She was reminding me it was the Lord's work, not mine, one He may call me to raise up or lay (lie?) down or both.

My pride was wounded somewhat because I heard her say she didn't view me as a necessary ingredient to the group. Hell-o, I'm not, but I didn't really like being told as much.

Pride, I told you. Puffed up, self absorbed, it's-all-about-me, shamefully shameless pride.

Turns out my friend was not only wise but right. Due to a variety of circumstances I ended up taking a long, unplanned (albeit necessary) hiatus from teaching Bible study. Though I missed it terribly, I knew it was something I had to lay (lie?) aside for a time. I learned many things during those eight long months out of the teacher's chair, some of which I've chronicled here.

In regard to Bible study, I realized all over again what I knew to be true--that I am not indispensable, that it is the Lord's work, not mine, and that He asks me to lay (lie?) everything before Him, to do with as He pleases.

So I no longer teach Monday night Bible study. My friend has picked up the mantle, leading a group on Tuesday nights instead. I cannot tell you the joy that brings me. My friend has all the necessary ingredients of a great teacher: humility, authenticity and a glad willingness, and I am so very happy we are partners in the ministry of the gospel!

As for me, I did return to teaching Bible study. No longer on Monday nights, but Wednesday mornings. Something I have always longed to do, really, but my loyalty and sense of responsibility to my Monday night girls kept me from it. Oh, it was good. Returning to what you love and what you feel called by God to do, saying yes to Him, it is like coming home.

7 comments:

  1. Amen to that! We know that...yet sometimes we don't pursue it.

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  2. Love your honesty here...my pride slays me all the time.

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  3. A beautiful post. Thanks for being so vulnerable--it encourages all of us to be the same.

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  4. Sometimes other people do give us the nudge we need, and how great to see the Lord provide a new ministry for you as well.

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  5. Oh, Lisa!!! Ugh... these are the hardest lessons aren't they?

    I remember a similar situation and the Lord spoke to my heart that He truly could lead His people on His own, after all He did it without me for this long.... It wasn't mean or shaming, but a kind of comical word to my spirit... Ouch! That one hurt! Oh yeah, Lord... guess I forgot that one...gulp!

    I love your heart and I know that the Lord so delights in you and your transparency... thankyou for sharing that story...wow!

    I love that the Father, just like a daddy and his child, wants and delights in us working along side him...even if it is with our little Fisher Price hammer and wrench :)

    Hugs.. Amy

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  6. Cuz, can I just tell you that you're just plain cool and that I appreciate you?!

    BTW, bike season officially starts in less than a month...oh, yippee. Any chance your oldest is doing the time trial?

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  7. Amen to that! We know that...yet sometimes we don't pursue it.

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