Virtual Bible Study—Week 8
God will provide.
- Have you thought of this time as a reset? I know some of you have. How has God reset you or your family or your work or any area of your life for good?
- In what ways has God provided for you or your family just what you needed in this time? Exodus 16:18—I’m thinking not only of finances, but provision in other ways. Maybe start a list!
- From Philippians 2:14-15, what are some ways you “shine like stars in the universe” during this time? Don’t think of this as bragging, but encouraging others to do the same with your examples.
- Read the definition of grumbling below.* Was there anything in the definition that surprised you? Do you see any part of your response to this pandemic in the definition? Remember it’s ok to struggle and feel your feelings. It’s what we do with those feelings that makes the difference.
- Have you ever thought that grumbling about anything was in essence not trusting God? Take time this week to talk to God about your feelings, asking for His help to process and trust Him and direction in this new beginning.
- Here a few questions to think about this week. Feel free to share your thoughts now if you want to.
Have you accepted yet that things, no matter where you live, will not go back to the way they were—at least not for a while?
In what ways have you planned to begin again with God?
How will you use this test to know God better and become more in the likeness of Christ?
*Grumbling—In the Strong’s Concordance—3885, “to stop; by implication to stay permanently; hence (in a bad sense) to be obstinate (especially in words, to complain), continue, dwell, endure, grudge, lie all night, (make to) murmur.”
More questions to unpack this week about What is Really Behind Your Grumbles?
- What am I complaining against God about? (answer in situations, circumstances)
- What are my feelings/struggles before they turn into grumbling? (Answer in emotions.
- What do I do with those feelings? (Answer—“My feelings are not in charge of me. Name them. Talk to God.”)**
- How do I move forward? What provision and instruction is God giving?
**Paraphrased from What Am I Feeling? By Dr. Josh and Christi Straub
Last week on social media Emily Bedwell and Lynsey Randall both shared deeply from their hearts and experiences about how they are feeling now and how they feel about moving forward. I was moved by their words. I trust you God will speak to you through them as well.
Lynsey Randall’s Post
Our hope for the future is what will see us through.
I’ve started to reimagine our lives as we take small steps forward. Even with loss comes possibility – a new direction, a shift in our daily movements, a reorganizing of what we value. Like many of you, the past nine weeks I’ve been asking, “What is God doing with this period of time? How is he influencing, changing, and moving things big and small?” And, while most of my questions are still unanswered, my imagination is filled with hope for what is possible.
Maybe it’s a simplified life with all of the extras weeded out permanently.
Maybe it’s loving your people harder and more fully than ever before, making time and space for them first.
Maybe it’s a reevaluation of the comfortable parts of your life. You know, the ones that feel safe, but that don’t serve God well, bring you joy, or allow you to live fully into who you were created to be.
Maybe it’s working through the uncomfortable feelings and facing the tough decisions our busy lives enabled us to push down or off to the side.
Certainly we are mourning, weary and craving normalcy, however let’s reimagine our lives and come into a new way of living. Not because of a crisis, but because we have been awakened to new possibilities.
Emily Bedwell’s Post
Today in Bloomington things change. Some stores, restaurants, and personal services open up at limited capacity. Some people are excited. Some people are angry. Some people need to get back to work. Some people are scared to do the same. There is no clear cut path or answer through something we’ve never experienced, just a lot of strong opinions. As the new normal begins, may we all be:
KINDER than before. You don’t know why someone is venturing out today. Or tomorrow. You don’t know their home situation, their employment issues, or their mental state. No one has experienced the last two months the same way you have.
GENTLE with yourself. Maybe you were excited to go do something just to find the actual experience too overwhelming. That’s okay. Go home and try again later.
NONREACTIVE with others. The next few weeks may make you angry and frustrated because people aren’t doing things “right.” Eliminate a lot of stress by assuming they are doing the best they can. What I think is right may not be what you think is right.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your actions and your family. That’s it. That’s all you can control. Do what you believe to be safe and prudent for your circle.
GIVE GENEROUSLY if you do go to a restaurant or service-based business. Tip well and be nice. The people serving you probably have the same worries and fears you do.
What is weird today may be normal in a week. This is not a time for fear, but also not a time to let your guard down.
If anything, the last two months have reminded me that as a species we are capable of great acts of solidarity – and of undeniable acts of selfishness. We are kind and cruel in the same breath. We are accepting and judging in the same sentence.
Now is our time to be better.
Thank you, Lynsey and Emily!
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.