I love the Lord. I love learning increasingly more about His Word and through it, His will for my life. But I have to confess something. As a home educator, I have often struggled with the correct placement, so to speak, of the Bible as a part of our educational process. Over the years, I have seen the full gamut of how to use the Bible in children’s education. I know parents who only use a Bible; the Bible is literature, history, and science within their homes. On the other side of the spectrum, in my opinion, is the school of thought that studies the Bible as a comparative element in a full study of major religions. This path, then, also covers the Koran and the Kanjur and the Tanjur, among others. We were decidedly in the middle; much of what we use to learn is scripturally based, but did we actually need to include theBible?
My answer, based upon my own spiritual growth, has become a resounding yes. Over the years we have read the entire Bible, minus a few books that I, in arrogance, thought might be boring for our children (and me). But after completing the book of Revelation a couple of years ago, I decided to begin again, and to cover every word. Genesis and Exodus are full of excitement, but I was admittedly apprehensive about books like Leviticus. I will not even begin to discuss how the Lord might get us through Numbers. Yet, I trust Him.
That simple act of faith has been amazing. Though we are still in Numbers—two years later—God’s Word has been rich, and His promises to His people have been amazing to share and understand together. One of the many places He has taken us is into a deeper appreciation for what is spelled out plainly in James 1: 2-4 (NIV)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
You see, even in the Old Testament, God had a plan for his people. He promised to give them a land flowing with milk and honey. But there was one problem: most of the people that were sent to survey this haven were not prepared for it. They were not ready to utilize God’s strength to fight for it. They were unprepared to walk by faith and not by sight and so the giants scared them. They were, at times, so comfortable with their past—even though they were slaves—until they became disgruntled with the discomfort of an uncertain future. Indeed, we see that by the time the Israelites actually entered into the area, only Joshua and Caleb remained of a generation of adults who left Egypt. Even Aaron and Moses were dead.
Arguably, the Lord needed His people to mature in some areas. They had to grow up in areas where they were still babes—areas like trust, faith, submission and courage. Don’t judge them. If you have walked with the Lord for more than five minutes, then you know that, even in our technological age where nothing seems beyond our fingertips, those areas can be as tough to relinquish to Jesus today as they were thousands of years ago.
Thankfully, though our abilities to trust may waver, God’s consistency is the same. And he has an unbelievable plan for us as we grow in Him. His Word in 1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us that ‘eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for them that love Him.’ This is not a prosperity message. Nor is this a feel-good post about resting in Jesus and walking in eternal happiness. It is about growing up, and allowing more of God and less of you to show up in your life.
There are a number of life circumstances that stretch us, at times almost up to the breaking point in our lives. We wonder why a Christian must walk through such dark places while the heathens seem to skate through life. But that is not the right question. (Besides, Psalms 73 already answers that one!) Instead, consider asking yourself this: am I willing to trust God and believe that even through [name your circumstance], He is divinely orchestrating these events to work for my good? He did it for the Jewish people. He did it for countless non-Jews in the Bible. He can do it for you. Grow up and get ready.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you be successful wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7 (NIV)
Belinda Bullard is a wife to her best friend and a home educating mother of three. Belinda is an author and the owner of A Blessed Heritage Educational Resources, a literature-based history curriculum featuring African-American presence in history, as well as the contributions of other races to American history. A chemical engineer by formal education, she also serves as adjunct faculty for college programs specializing in adult learning. She is a regular contributor to Heart of the Matter Online and Home Educating Family. Belinda blogs at Simply Belinda and Chronicles of a Blessed Heritage