My friend Kelly told me about a Bible study called Duty or Delight she and a friend were working through this summer and as soon as I heard the premise of it I knew it was for me. My spiritual life has been lacking lately because I've been filling the time when I could be studying God's word with picking up a never clean house and lamenting the fact that I. Will. Never. Have. A. Clean. And. Organized. House. Again. Ever.
When I told my friend Miranda about it she said she'd like to do it along with me. The cool thing is that she lives in Hawaii and so we are going to hop on iChat once a week to discuss what we've learned and been challenged by. I love it! I thought I would give you a little excerpt from the book that jumped out at me and I have just not been able to shake.
"Here's the revelations: God deeply, deeply loves you. He loves who you are right now. The broken you. The one who wishes she was perfect. The one who beats herself up because she's imperfect. The woman who desperately wants to go up that mountain she's been circling for years. The one who can't seem to get her spiritual act together like all the "good Christians" she knows." ~ Tammie Head
Wow. I can't even begin to express what those words did to my heart. Especially in this new season of motherhood with a little one and a toddler and no time and a lot of mommy guilt and a lot of being frustrated with myself.
I can tell you that I have made it through the first week and It. Did. Not. Disappoint. At. All. In fact this study has been balm to my soul and water to my thirsty heart.
I will leave you with one of the most profound moments for me in the study so far. It happened from a few verses in Genesis that I have read a million times because every Christian knows the story of the Fall of mankind. Honestly, when I figured out she was leading us to that part in Genesis I kind of groaned inside. I mean, I know that story. Eve ate the apple. Bad Eve. Eve led Adam to the apple. Bad Adam. That choice caused sin to enter the world and it's been downhill since then. I get it.
Thankfully, I decided to go with Tammie and hear her out. She asked us specifically to read the verses again (Genesis 3:7-10, 21-24) but to concentrate on the heart of God. What? Not the sin of man? As I did that, focused on the heart of God, I got goosebumps. The story says that when God met the man and woman in the garden he gave them the consequences for their sin. He didn't turn his back from them. He didn't lash out at them. He didn't disown them or rub their faces in their sin. (All things I expect from God when I sin.) Then, he made clothes for them and sent them on their way. Do you see what I saw there that gave me goosebumps. He, the God of the Universe, made them clothes. He made them. He didn't speak them into being (well maybe He did, but the word is "made" and I am definitely not a Bible scholar but that makes me believe that he put his loving hands on their garments). So, Adam and Eve sinned and God lovingly made them clothes before they had to walk in their consequences.
I don't know about you, but that hit me so hard. Our God is loving. He loves me when I sin (even though that is so hard for me to comprehend) and if He would stop and create garments for the two people who committed the first sin in the world, why would he not do the same for me?