Hike Your Own Hike: Starting a Bible Study in Your Neighborhood
You can’t adequately prepare for the steepness of the peaks and valleys
I play tennis and do a lot of walking, so I felt pretty good about being able to make the journey, but walking 50 miles on level ground doesn’t compare to the constant up and down of climbing and descending of mountains! I logged about 20,000 steps that day, but only about 195 the following. Why? I could barely walk for three days! But once you’re in the woods, you’re all in, and you just have to trust God with the journey. If I’d known about the pain beforehand, would I have said “yes” to the journey? But, oh, the mountain vistas I would have missed.
Hike your own hike
There’s no single “right” or “wrong” way to take a hike. When you’re tired, you rest. When you see something cool, you pause and check it out. When you need more water, you open your ears to listen for a rushing stream. I learned that God had prepared something amazing for me that day, and I took pleasure in discovering it. Similarly, there’s no right or wrong way to reach out to our neighbors or lead a Bible study. God has prepared something unique – just for you. Trust Him with the journey, and take pleasure in watching His plan unfold.
Don’t lose sight of your guide
For this trip, my husband was my guide. He planned every aspect of it, he had the map, the phone, the daypack with my jacket, water and snacks, and he knew exactly where we were going. I was perfectly content to walk a few steps behind him, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. At one point, though, I got lost in my thoughts and when I looked around for him, I could no longer see him. I had a brief moment of panic! What if I’m lost? What if I missed the last white blaze? What if I never get home? Was that a bear??! However, all I had to do was call his name, and I discovered that he was nearby all along. Don’t we do that with God? We wander off the trail sometimes and forget how dependent we are on Him. Fortunately, we can always call His name, and He can be trusted to be nearby. Our ultimate Guide has planned every aspect of our journey, and He has the map.
You can do 20 more steps
We made a very sorrowful error by parking our vehicle at the top of the last mountain instead of at its base. When I learned that we’d have to climb another very steep half a mile to get to our car, I thought I might cry. (I may have cried, who can remember such things?) But to get to where I wanted to go, I had to finish my hike. Legs like jelly, I trusted the Holy Spirit to take me up the hill. “Holy Spirit, help me do the next 20 steps. I can do 20 steps if you’re with me.” When I accomplished those 20 steps, I trusted Jesus with the next 20. That’s what we need to do with our Savior. When we’re positive we can’t take one more step, we can claim the promise that we can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens us. He will help us take the next step. And the next. And the next.
When we determine to undertake what might feel like a daunting task such as starting a Neighborhood Bible Study, remember that you can never adequately prepare, but if you’ll trust your Guide, He will help you take the next step in your own, uniquely gifted way!
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2
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Erica Rountree is a freelance writer and the communications director at Action Ministries Inc. She lives and works in Marietta, Georgia, where she’s a member of a neighborhood Bible study and mama to two girls who constantly outsmart her and drive her to drink sweet tea.
Thanks, Erica! This was so well written and I LOVED the analogies. I was hanging onto every word. You pulled me in! I can still remember my own painful journeys on that Ap. trail... and as a Bible study leader as well. Never leave home or "step out" without HIM! Aaamen!
Judi, just follow this link: http://www.nbs2go.com/acrostic-bible-studies/ and print them from NBS2Go! Enjoy!