Since September, I have been leading a Bible study on Peter, first meeting him in the gospels, and then several months spent going through 1 Peter, and now 2 Peter. Many of us also memorized the letter of 1 Peter as we studied. As the leader of the study I am compelled to do as Peter learned from his Master, and serve the women in my study out of an earnest love for them and a deep desire to honor my Lord. I see my role as sort of a hunter-gatherer; I hunt through the Scriptures and commentaries to bring my women the choicest morsels of truth and encouragement—not only the tasty bites, but substantial and nourishing as well.
As I search and dig and marinate in the Word each week (some weeks better than others), I find that I am not only learning a great deal in my mind, but the truths are sinking themselves firmly into my heart. This study certainly isn’t “all about me,” but I can tell that I am greatly blessed through it, beyond any study in which I was a follower/student and not the leader/teacher. As the Word and its truth binds itself to my heart, I see its application almost everywhere I look. I also seem to see and hear it cropping up everywhere too, like when I attended the PCA’s Leadership Training for Women’s Ministry in February with three other women from my church (and study).
The speakers quoted Peter, the workshops mentioned Peter, and I almost fell out of my chair when Tara Barthel, at the end of her workshop (dealing with helping women who are experiencing extreme suffering), said, “First Peter begins to be the air you breathe when you are suffering.” YES! My heart cried, “YES!” (Only in my heart—it would have been weird for me to yell it across the room.) There has been so much suffering among our church family the past couple of years; so many hurting, broken, wounded people in our pews. The truths of 1 Peter have been a balm to many hearts in many ways.
“First Peter begins to be the air you breathe when you are suffering.” – Tara Barthel
So, when I was thinking about what to write to encourage women during Holy Week, thinking about what our Lord Jesus experienced as he approached the cross, 1 Peter was already simmering in my mind and heart. The hardest part about this post was keeping it brief. (I way ran over the word limit as it is…) There’s just so much more that I wanted to say; perhaps it will fuel further posts here or there.
And so, if you need encouraging this week, if you wonder what kept our precious Savior on the road to Calvary, or if following in his steps seems an impossible task, I pray the feeble words I wrote point you to the Author of life. May you find joy in him.