Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"G" is for Gideon!

"Lord...it's 8am!  I need to have an answer by 9am!  I know You think an hour is a long time, but I've been praying for weeks and I still don't feel any closer to a decision."

This is what I was speaking to the Lord, out loud, as I was getting ready to head to Bible study this morning.  You see, today is the day all our study choices for the Fall must be submitted to the church.  It may seem early, but when approximately 200 ladies attend our weekly Bible studies, books need to be ordered, facilitators put in place and opportunity for sign-up offered before the summer months are upon us.  (I know...we haven't even enjoyed a taste of Spring yet and I'm talking Summer, but it is coming...I promise!)

For weeks now I have diligently been praying for guidance as to which study the Lord desires me to facilitate next Fall.  I had narrowed my choice to five studies from an extensive, pre-approved list that had been confirmed by our pastoral staff.  I prayed.  I listened.  I prayed some more.  For those of you who know me via social media, I threw the question out to you for input.  I asked friends. I listened.  I prayed.

God was silent.

This was so unlike past experience.  Every year as I've been called to facilitate studies, the Lord clearly has given direction and I've had the assurance of being in the center of His will.  I was down to an hour and counting.  I trusted the Lord wouldn't disappoint me, but minutes were ticking by.

Earlier this morning, during my quiet time, a strange thing had happened.  I was reading in Judges 6, the story of Gideon.  Gideon's story holds a special place in my heart.  The Lord used that portion of Scripture the morning of my surgery in 2011 to let me know "you will not die" and that He would "consume all" the cancer.  As I read about Gideon again today I thought, one day I'll do the study of Gideon at the church.  (I'm currently working on Priscilla Shirer's "Gideon" study on my own, and just purchased the DVD kit less than a week ago.)  That thought birthed another question:  Lord, do You want me to do the study of Gideon this Fall?  Do my five choices become six?

As I continued getting ready to head out I said to the Lord, (yes, I spoke out loud again, after all, I was the only one home at this particular moment), "Father You could give direction in so many different ways.  You could even make my cell phone go off with the answer."

IMMEDIATELY my cell phone vibrated!!!  I'm. Not. Kidding!!!

A text had come in from a friend inquiring about Bible study.  She didn't have to go into work today and she was asking if it was appropriate to come and sit in on one of the classes.  Yes, of course she could come.  It is always appropriate to come and learn from God's Word.  I told her to join in our group if she wanted.  We've been a "no-homework" study this past year, (long story), and so our group would be a great one to just slip into, participate and enjoy.

As I finished my text conversation with her, I felt the Lord impressing on my heart the need for our church to offer another "in class, no homework" study.  I was balking this.  Although it has gone well this year and God confirmed in so many ways that this was indeed His plan for the current study I was facilitating (we had ladies in our group who had never participated in a Bible study previously so they were able to learn how to do a Bible study), I'm a homework girl.  I love facilitating a study where everyone comes prepared with their answers.  The text that arrived on my phone moments ago spoke to my heart concerning the need for another study that offers this training opportunity.

Well, if I was to offer a no homework study, three of my choices were instantly eliminated.  Because of the volume of material, there wasn't any possible way to do them "in class" in the 7 or 8 months of weekly discussion time.  Now I was down to a choice of three others.

Thirty minutes and counting.  I calmly sat down at my computer.  The studies being considered each had a DVD component.  I would watch the first 10 minutes of each one and see if anything jumped off the screen at me.  I listened to the first one.  Great teaching, but nothing resonated.  I moved to the second one.  Again, fabulous teaching, but no inner stir.  I moved to the final possible choice.  Suddenly I heard these words: You've been waiting for a green light, for something to tell you to go.  Well, this is it...go, go, go!!!

Guess which study it was?  :-)

Gideon!  The reason I hadn't previously heard from God regarding my other five choices was because not one of them was His choice!  He couldn't choose from a list which didn't include His study.

I instantly felt an overwhelming peace and assurance that this is what God wanted!  Not only that, but I then noticed another friend's post on Facebook.  She said, "Today's letter is 'G'".  Hahahaha...yes it is!

There is sooo much more to this story, as less than an hour later, God also confirmed in my heart that I'll be facilitating an evening Bible study of Beth Moore's, "Children Of the Day".  I'm. So. Excited!!!! But that's another story, for another day.  :-)

Lord, thank You that Your timing is perfect.  Thank You that when we continue to wait on You, we have the assurance of Your hand guiding us. Thank You for the joy of knowing with certainty that we are walking in Your will and Your way.

Oh...and PS...yes, "Gideon" just happened to be on that pre-approved list! *smile*

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Sharon Toth said...

Oh Joy! What an amazing God story (insert clapping and jumping here) I just love it when He does  this kind of thing!!! I did the Gideon study last summer and it was so good! I got the videos too, one at a time online. I loved it all! 
I wish I lived by you so I could come :) to Children of the Day too :)
I'm praising our Amazing God and rejoicing with you my friend!
(Insert more clapping and jumping)

Jill Beran said...

Great to see how He answered your prayer and did it in His timing!! He and His counsel is always worth the wait...thank you for that reminder!! Blessings Joy!!

Tammy said...

So glad to kow God answered. Hs is an adventure. I just love how He works. I wish I were closer I would come to your Beth Moore study. I just seeing what you are going to share.

the wiz said...

God often works through coincidence, I have found myself. To an amazing degree, beyond all chance possibility.

"is anything too hard for God?"