Consistency in bible study is often an exercise in endurance.
Perhaps that is not the best reason for staying the course, but especially with all the competing distractions for our attention, sometimes endurance helps maintain the lifeline between spurts of success and flashes of insight. Scripture cites volumes of Christian expectations, but towards the end of the Holy Book, the trait noted more often is summed up with the idea of “enduring to the end”.
We are now into our fifth month of family bible study time. We have been using the book on New Covenant theology I wrote entitled Wineskins, and tonight was an especially engaging session for all of us.
There have been times when our study seemed more reflective of duty than desire, but that is perhaps expected when attempting to combine four unique lives into one common and worthy pursuit. Today was a hard day for several of us. As I write these words, it comes to mind that I unintentionally spent time reading several chapters in Job. I guess we are not the only ones occasionally left wondering where we are in the grand scheme of what God is doing on earth.
After dinner, we sat down to finish the last two pages of the chapter we had been studying on the differences between how Scripture presents the Old Covenant commands and those worded by Jesus under the New Covenant. I sensed a soberness in the air, but chose to push through.
We took turns reading the random sampling of Jesus’ commands listed in bullet form and then briefly discussed how we each ought to apply such expectations. This format allowed for more discussion and quicker shifts in reading, rather than the longer paragraph styles we had typically used previously.
At the query of my kids, we took longer than usual to address the command about fathers not aggravating their children. Go figure. I promise that it was entirely random, but my lovely bride got stuck reading several commands about wives. She not only took it in stride, but she seemed eager to share other commands in passages surrounding the ones noted in Wineskins–additional words about hospitality, peacefulness, and generosity.
In hindsight, I was pleased to see that in spite of the challenges weighing on each of us, all four were actively engaged in participating. I didn’t once have to address the intrusion of distractions in our study. Even the dog avoided pestering the kids.
“When you are weak, then I am strong!”
Sometimes, when we are spread thin, when our ropes are well-worn, when enduring is about all we can muster–God floods our gaps with his grace!
“When you have done all you can to stand, then stand”
Stand in the amazing grace of a God who cares, who knows your feeble moments, who holds you when you quiver. Love where you can, give what you must, serve to your max. But when the swells of life foment waves of motion sickness, keep your eyes fixed on the only stable figure in your horizon: Jesus, the calmer of storms.
Fight the good fight. Stay the course. Keep studying your Bible. Continue meeting together. Endure to the end.
How has endurance in your faith kept you in the game?