Feeling that "ugh"

Every Thursday afternoon, like clockwork, I feel the "ugh" set in. I get home from class around 4:30, and I feel tired, cranky, annoyed, and burnt-out. Why do I feel this way? Because every Thursday night I lead a Bible study at my house.

Now I should, I should, feel excited, joyous, eager, and the thrill of the anticipation that I will hear from God and share his word with other women. I should feel grateful about the opportunity to show hospitality to others. But I don't. Instead, I feel the weight of commitment, the obligation, the burden of wanting to do it "just right." The pressure of wanting to be a Mary and a Martha. It's the ugh.

So, every week, I begrudgingly sit down in front of my Bible, and open up to the chapter that we're studying that week to make my final preparations to lead discussion that night.

Every week, like clockwork, I open my Bible and pour over God's word. I read it. I study notes others have made about it. I search for last bits of wisdom and insight. What happens every week? I feel refreshed. I feel the ugh slip away. I feel joy taking over my sinful flesh that thinks watching reruns of the Real Housewives of Orange County (shameful, I know) is more fun than studying my Bible. My flesh was wrong. The ugh was my sin, my unwillingness to merely be obedient to what God has called me to do, study and teach his word to other women on Thursday nights.

Being obedient is the hardest part. That is to say, opening my Bible is the hardest part. Once it's there, and I begin to read it, the Holy Spirit does the rest. My stone heart is broken. God's word takes over, and joy replaces the ugh.

Maybe others who teach the Bible on a regular basis don't feel this way. Maybe I'm really messed up.  Something tells me, however, that I'm not the only one. When it comes to sin, you can always be sure that someone else is secretly down in that gutter with you. The beauty of Christianity is that we can admit our challenges to one another, and run arm-in-arm to the wondrous cross, where Jesus has already overcome it all.

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