Thursday, May 10, 2012

A new beginning

I've recently been studying the book of Mark in my own private study time...which of course is not a lot of time because I have 3 busy kids and 1 busy life!  I was drawn to Mark simply because it's been a long time since I've spent extended time in the stories and words of Jesus.  See, I'm a professional bible study girl, but lately I've been in texts other than the Gospels.  I've missed Jesus actual words I think.  So I just did it...I dove in all by myself and decided to just marinate in the book of Mark and Jesus' life as Mark records it.  I'm married to a pastor who loves to study and write, I'm a massive Beth Moore junkie, and I've literally done every Bible study written for women published by Lifeway.  You'd think this would be easy or at least natural but I'm not exactly sure how to do this study thing on my own.  I usually need a group of ladies holding me accountable for bible study, but I'm going solo this time.  Sometimes I'll blog maybe, but maybe not.  I'm 43 for crying out loud!  I've been a Christian for 37 years!  Shouldn't I be able to do this...it's time!!! 

So here I go...
And by the way, am I the only one?  Does anyone else really struggle with wanting to be in the Word and live life devoted to the One Who loves me more than anyone or anything, but just can't keep together?  I suspect that everyone I know has similar issues but sometimes it feels like we are all alone.  It certainly seems like the days I'm most committed are the days that my kids are outright disobedient and disrespectful, some unforeseen expense falls in my lap, and I eventually lose it before the day is done.  Those days, as often as they are, are reminders that Jesus was just completely amazing!  He had to be divine, because everyday was like this for Him and He stayed faithful to the purpose for which The Father sent Him.  Granted, He never had children, but honestly the religious people and His own disciples were so selfish and clueless that they made everyday of His ministry the utmost of challenges.  And they were "mature" adults!  Yep, He had to be divine because He never zapped them, quit, went completely postal, or lost all hope...all of which I'm tempted to do on a daily basis. This is why I'm newly committed to studying Jesus, our only hope of sanity and stability.

Mark 1 begins with a title..."The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah...".  This was the beginning of Jesus' ministry proper, and yet I'm realizing that it really was turning the corner toward the actual end of His earthly life.  Mark doesn't start with Jesus' birth, His childhood, or even His early adulthood.  Mark says the beginning of the good news was actually the beginning of the end.  This was the beginning of a new revelation and the beginning of the walk toward why He actually came...Jesus' atoning and redeeming sacrifice on the cross.  How ironic, and yet how totally like God.  What we would see as the end, He sees as the beginning.  Again, I'm reminded that the way God sees things is really "right side up" from His perspective.  He looks from heaven and sees the reality of life, and I'm so often looking at things upside down.  What looks like the end to us is almost always a new beginning! And I am so glad that we have the whole scripture, reminding me in Philippians 1:6 that completion will only be in the day He returns and sets everything "right side up.".  Come Lord Jesus, COME!! 

But just in case He doesn't come today, I'm beginning something new.  I want to hear God speak deeply and personally to me without relying on Beth or Blake.  Oh I hope I can be just a tiny bit faithful to this because I think it could be life altaring! 

"The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God..."


 

8 comments:

Sarah Alexander said...

Love this, Gayla! It rings so true with me, too! The days I feel like I'm totally gonna have it together, on fire, gonna do it all right - that's when everything falls apart at home and/or work! I think I'll join you in Mark.

I have a friend (our state Women's Ministries Gal, actually!) who committed to only study the actual BIBLE (really? can we do that?) a few years ago, and it has blessed her tremendously!

And btw, whenever I'm reading or studying Mark, I think of Blake...he must have done a sermon series or a book study while I was at Park Hill!

Excited to follow you! Love you guys!

Gayla said...

Sarah, such sweet things...thanks! When Blake and I ask God to show us fruit from any ministry we've attempted to do in His Name, He almost always reminds us of so many precious friends in our college group at Park Hill. I'm not sure we've had sweeter seasons of ministry ever!! You and Ryan are being used obviously! I pray for you every time I see your updates on FB! Isn't He good!?

Sarah Alexander said...

Absolutely! Well said...and the prayers go both ways! Thanks!

Tana Dowell said...

Incredible! Gayla, I completely understand! I so want to study the Bible daily...but without a "group", or someone leading me, I haven't figured out how to do it on my own yet! I pray for you, that you can stay in the word and KNOW that you CAN do this!!

I truly know what it's like to feel completely alone in things, but as my good friend reminds me often, "the creator of the world lives IN you." How absolutely amazing is that?! As often as I forget, it helps to be reminded that we are NEVER alone! The Holy Spirit is guiding you and maybe Mark is exactly where you are meant to be right now! You are in my prayers my friend!

Gary Snowden said...

Gayla, I don't know if you intentionally misspelled "life altaring" or not, but I love the mental image it fostered.

gowithbeautifulfeet said...

WONDERFUL! There is NOTHING like studying straight from the Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit teach us like only He can! :) I'm anticipating that you will find this to be SUCH a delighftul time with your Savior! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your journey, and for sharing your blog with us! I'm eager to follow along with you, sweet sister!

Beth Garner said...

Wow, I know what you're saying. I was in Isaiah when it just wasn't clicking and felt the urge to go to the Gospels and read the red words. Matthew and Mark went by pretty quickly and then Luke came along and grabbed me. I'm seeing it with new eyes - again.

Robin said...

Love it! I am trying to do a daily reading plan using the SOAP method on my own and I can so relate to the hit or miss nature.