I reached out, today, to a man of God and trusted friend. I was feeling a little overwhelmed, and Rob came to mind; I knew he'd have sound words of advice, also that I'd feel better in knowing he was praying for me during this season of my life.
Rob listened as I told him about the Sunday school class I've started teaching and the book I've started writing. He listened, too, as I told him about two friends to whom I've been ministering in hopes that they will accept Christ.
I shared with Rob how God led me, recently, to I Corinthians 2:9-16, how--for the first time--I realized: I'd been placing entirely too much confidence in my ability to understand things of God. I understand only what the Holy Spirit teaches me. God teaches me about God.
And, actually (as I sit here writing with my Bible open on my lap), I think the mystery even more profound than I communicated to Rob. I think, suddenly, that I never understand things of God: that my "mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16) understands things of God...that simply, profoundly, God understands things of God.
I want so desperately, I told Rob, for Jesus to move into my friends' hearts. But I can't teach them things of God; God has to teach them things of God, and He's not living in their hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Rob proceeded to talk with me about the Parable of the Sower: about how we sow seeds (the Word of God) and only some of it falls on good ground. The ground, Rob explained, has to be broken...i.e., the hearer has to be willing to receive God. And, he said, people aren't drawn to God by how much we know, but by how much we care for them. Rob encouraged me to pray for my friends, also to continue demonstrating how much I care for them.
I hung up the phone and sat down with my Bible to prepare my Sunday school lesson on fear. In mid-September, I'd identified Mark 4:36-41 as the passage for this Sunday: the story of the disciples' fear on the day Jesus fell asleep in a ship, during a storm.
I've tried to be sure--in teaching this topical study on emotions--that I understand the context of the passages we examine in class. Tonight, I started reading at the beginning of Mark 4.
And at the beginning of Mark 4? The Parable of the Sower.
What a sweet confirmation.