Throughout this post I've linked to my instagram account. I often find myself wanting to share things I am learning and do so consistently over there.
Last night ended a 12 week Bible book study. The study went through Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow.
One major theme in the book was the idea of bowing down everything before the Lord. Over the course of our weeks, I had to bow down many different things.
After the first four chapters, which shared the authors journey to worship and taught on what worship is, the study moved to this idea of bowing.
I had to bow my life, words, attitude, work, times of waiting, pain, and will.
Yikes. That's a lot to lay down ammarite??
Even individually they're hard to lay down. Imagine a book that made you do each one. dang.
In bowing my life, I had to come to terms with the statement "If I am not Lord of all, I am not Lord of all." That was difficult and still remains difficult. Yet as I've shared before, something being difficult is not reason to not do something, especially a commanded something.
In bowing my words, I found myself recognizing myself in something the author shared:
The problem is, I find it emotionally satisfying to let the words come forth. I feel better. I have had my say. Perhaps this is the issues: Because I want emotional relief, I plunge in and speak quickly - and I get in God's way.That's painful to read isn't it? It's one of many spaces where I wrote "AAA!" in the margins of my book.
In bowing my attitude, I was reminded that gratitude is a choice. I can choose to praise God in all things. It isn't necessarily an easy choice, but it is a choice. During that week, I got caught about a twenty minute walk away from home in the rain. I didn't have much praise in me to muster, but I was determined to try. As I walked home in the rain, I praised God that I had two feet instead of one.
In bowing my work, well, actually, this is the only chapter in the entire book where I did not underline a single thing. Work is sensitive topic to my heart. Losing my job this year has made me all kind of sensitive.
In bowing my times of waiting, I resonated much with this quote that is on my instagram account. I've thought much about that tension. This was a good chapter for my soul, one that healed some wounds.
There was an analogy that the author mentioned in this chapter on waiting that I remembered my mentor having shared with me - which makes sense since I know she studied this book last year. It's an analogy of a rocking chair.
I rocked back and thought, Ah, this is waiting patiently. Then I rocked forward and thought, This is watching expectantly. Yes, my Lord, I see. It is a continuous motion. Both can happen at once. . . . I want to live expecting you will answer any moment but bowing my agenda and waiting with patience for your timing.
It's a good analogy isn't it? It's one I try to remember. To lean back into Christ, trusting Him as I wait patiently. To rock forward with Christ, trusting Him as I wait expectantly. There is such comfort in this chair.
In bowing my pain, I was challenged to rely not on myself. To have a God confidence instead of a self confidence. It can be difficult in a society that speaks much of having a self confidence to lay that down before the Lord and rest all of your confidence in Him.
In bowing my will, I found much confidence in this statement that the author share: He knew that the will of God would never take him where the grace of God would not protect him. Yes. That. Bowing my will was far more difficult than any other. It was one where I realized that I had missed a lot in the weeks previous. I had thought that I could lay each one day. That I could do it on my own. But in laying down my will I had to lay down my abilities as well.
The author encouraged the idea of creating an Isaiah alter. To bring the things that we hold dear to us, that we need to sacrifice to the Lord. To lay down before the Lord and to physically use hand motions to bind up the things you're laying down. It was difficult to do, to bind each thing down before Him, but it was necessary. I whispered to God that I knew I would be untying each one again soon. That I would need His help to bind them down again and again and again.
This book challenged me, encouraged me, frustrated me, and pointed me to God. It stretched my views on many things and forced me to reconcile differences I had with the Lord.
Let me know if you decide to pick this book up. I highly recommend it. I appreciated that I had to read each chapter twice per week. Doing it in a group was also helpful.
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