Posted by: ritagone | December 6, 2017

Bye, Bye, Job! (And Thanks!)

Tomorrow I finish

 teaching Job at Connection, the Thursday morning womens’ Bible study at my church.  I started preparing to teach Job long about the first of this year, so it’s been almost a long time — full year — of reading various commentaries (written by Ray Stedman, Tim Keller, Elisabeth Eliott, Charles Swindoll and a few others), taking copious notes, putting together rough drafts of twelve lessons, re-doing some of those lessons, then re-doing them again, putting music along with the lessons, asking my daughter to sing songs that fit in well with particular themes of the various lessons, moving things around some more. Editing, shortening, editing some more. It’s been the equivalent of a part-time job!!

It’s what you do when you’re preparing to teach for about three months.  (The only Thursday I didn’t teach was Thanksgiving.)  You try to stay as far ahead as you can, knowing that every week, when you finish one lesson, you leap into immediate preparation for next week’s lesson.

 

During the time this group of ladies has been studying Job, two of our community have passed away, so we’ve been to two memorial services together, sharing the sadness that that kind of event brings.  We’ve shared laughter too, and lots of wonderful moments.  That’s what Bible studies like this are meant to do, and that’s what has happened.  It wasn’t just about being in God’s Word, although there was lots of that.  It was about sharing life together, personal stories and jokes and sweet moments of openness and vulnerability that can only happen when you are together week in and week out, along with the sad times of loss.

 

But first and foremost, I have to say that I myself am not the same person today that I was when I started immersing in the book of Job.  It has literally changed my life, in the way I think about God, who He is and how He moves in and through the world around me.  I will never be the same as long as I live.  The verse – the phrase – that keeps running through my head is 42:5: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”  It’s as if previously God had been shared with me, talked about to me, but now, He is in front of me, my eyes can see Him, He is a part of me in ways He never was before.

They say teachers often learn more than their students because they live with the material so much longer and get to go so much deeper, and I really believe that.  Job and I are now old friends.  Mrs. Job is known to me.  We are not strangers.  We never will be.  But more importantly, the God who is talked about in the book of Job – who is no stranger to Job or his wife – is much more known to me now too.

If this is what comes of teaching the Bible, then may I spend the rest of my days preparing lessons out of Scripture, whether there is someone at the other end of those lessons or not!

So good-bye, Job, and thank you for the life-changing lessons you have bestowed on me and hopefully a few others along the way.  What you went through – your sufferings and your time of hardship – were certainly not experienced in vain.

And if Elihu happens to be around, I have one question to ask you about him: is he still talking?

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Responses

  1. Wonderful blog!!! It is so true that the teacher learns more than the student. You were born to teach!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. This is beautiful, Rita. Wish I could have heard your teaching.

  3. Very good! By the way what camp is Dudley going to and when?

    Len

    Len Sunukjian

    FishBowl Ministries

    64 La Cumbre Circle

    Santa Barbara, CA 93105-4442

    Cell: 805.390.0993

    Email: lsunuk@verizon.net

  4. So beautifully said, Rita. You have been such a faithful teacher for so many years, yet you continue to be a faithful student too. I am so inspired by what you write and who you are. Much love, April


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