Hello and Welcome to our first ever Online Bible Study!
I wish I could be sitting there with you – on your couch, at your kitchen table, or wherever your current perch may be. I wanted to make this introduction much more personal with some sort of video. But our recent sudden move combined with traveling prevented that from happening. So I hope you can hear my heart through these words, and we’ll try that for the next OBS!
The study you are about to begin is written from the most vulnerable parts of me. And is taken directly from my prayer journals. Every time someone tells me that the are doing the study, or just finished it, I feel humbled. And thankful. And a little exposed. Like they just dug up my diary from under the bed and took a quick read through its private pages.
Contrary to the somewhat heavy first glance of the title, this study isn’t all darkness. As a matter of fact, it shines a bright (albeit dust-filled) stream of light into the darkness. It’s one that not only helps to reveal what can be a hidden anchor that tethers you to Christ in the heaviest of storms, it also lends a small piece of understanding to encourage and support a friend, family member, or loved one that could be experiencing a difficult season even if you are not.
The words that you will be reading and studying over the next nine weeks were written right in the middle of my own dark season. Quite literally, actually – five years into ten year wait for our family and a long stretch of what I affectionately call “delayed fertility”. And halfway through my best friend’s very short 18-month battle with cancer that would usher her into heaven. I cried a lot during those years. And the Word of God was my lifeline. Suddenly, an hour-long quiet time was necessary just to get through the day. To feel around in the dark for the hidden treasures. To believe that, surely, I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land the living (Psalm 117).
And this whole study came about somewhat accidentally (although I know now that it was God’s perfect plan all along). My husband and I had recently taken over leading our small group of half a dozen other married couples. We split up the men and women for a short time. And one of the women wanted some accountability. She wanted to get back into the habit of a daily quiet time. And she wanted to do something with homework that would help her do that.
“Homework?” I said. “I can do homework.” And I sat down at my kitchen table the next morning and began to write.
And continued to write. Every weekday morning. For the next nine weeks. My morning quiet time became that day’s homework. And I printed out the pages, clipping them together with gold paperclips. And I gave them the next week’s homework the following week.
And then all those pages got put into a folder. And they were tucked away for almost two years. Gathering dust. Until a girlfriend asked me about it. And encouraged me to teach through it one more time – ten weeks before we moved to our new island home. And watching half-a-dozen new women going through those 45 days all over again triggered something in me to make this thing official and get it published.
And the rest is history.
Before We Begin
Please take some time to complete the “Before We Begin” section on page 7, and then read The Background and introduction to Week One before beginning today’s homework. You’re about to dive head-first into the deep end of the study-Scripture pool. Throughout this study, you will be using online resources to look up definitions for the original Greek and Hebrew words. Because my ultimate goal in all of this is to not only leave you more in love with God’s Word than you were when you began, but to also provide the tools and resources to continue the love affair on your own. Without the need for someone else to do the digging for you.
If you are still waiting for your book, click this link to download Week One as a FREE pdf!
Let’s Get Real
Where are you, right this moment, with God? What does your faith look like? What do you want Him to do in these next nine weeks? How do you want to leave this study changed?
Join the conversation by leaving a comment below and replying to other people’s thoughts. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!