I found this unfinished blog post from a couple of months ago when I was looking for the unfinished portions of the postings I just made and thought I would post it too, with my additions to finish it with more recent events.
This week I am so grateful for two teenagers who are our weekly babysitters as without them I would have not received the profound word I did at our Bible Study. We were discussing John 5:1-15. For those who are not familiar here is the extract for those who are familiar you can skip to the next part (but you may want to read it anyway):
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
There was so much that we discussed (I really like our Bible Study group.). But one of the biggest things that stood out to me was when our leader for that study asked the question: “What does Jesus’command ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ mean to you?” We talked about it in somewhat general terms first. General as in we all had thoughts about it pertaining to us as missionaries taking ourselves up and out of our lives in our countries of origin. Literally moving our stuff (our mats) and walking out into the wider world. We talked about how this man in doing what Jesus told him probably was stepping into a world that he knew little if anything about as he had spent almost 40 years (perhaps his whole life?) in one spot.
Then we got more specific. We each have big and little examples of this. Our leader said that he viewed it in his own life at times like God was saying to get over yourself and just do what you are suppose to do. We also thought it applied to our specific roles as missionaries. In what ways was Jesus’command directed at us?
For me it is being willing to let other things go to be there and engaged with my family. It also means engaging in the community with other ladies so I can be a support to them as they are to me.
And other things...but sometimes commands are personal. :)
*As I said this was written a couple of months ago. In our Bible Study we are currently in John 8. This week I am leading, the first time in a VERY long time that I have done that. The section I have selected in John 8:12-30. I have been spending some time reading over that passage and making notes and It has been a really great experience, even though it has been hard. It has also been a lesson in not comparing myself to others.
You see, the other members of our Bible Study have a lot more experience than I do, through age, more schooling, or just this seemingly natural ability to absorb the Word and lead conversation well. I am trusting God to speak through me, and it is not my abilities but Him working through me this Wednesday.
I don't know if any of this will be important to anyone out there in the 'verse. But I am putting it out there because it is an important part of our lives and I want to share it with everyone.