Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Weekly Challenge

It happens like clockwork: Every Tuesday night is rough. One thing or another keeps me tossing and turning throughout the night: mosquito bites, upset stomach, random pain, crazy dogs, or the pounding music from the local bar. Or sometimes I'm just unable to fall asleep for hours on end. I usually wake up on Wednesday morning feeling terrible. And even if I make it through the night unscathed, illnesses like malaria, typhoid, or the flu like to make their appearance on Wednesday too. Which is not great, since Wednesdays are my longest, most challenging days. In addition to my regular daily work like teaching Bible for 5 grades at Genesis, I also teach a Bible study for all the teachers at Genesis after school every Wednesday. And I am convinced that is the reason for all the drama the night before.

Bible study with the teachers is definitely one of the highlights of my week every week. The opportunity to teach, instruct, mentor, and love these men and women Jesus has so wonderfully placed in my life is a real privilege to me. Every week I labor over how in the world I can make the stories, laws, and precepts of Numbers come alive to my teachers. I think the hardest part of my job is remembering how much they don’t know and haven’t been taught yet. Even though many of them have been in the church for years (sometimes decades!), their understanding of God’s Word, and especially the Old Testament is often very limited. I’m constantly surprised to realize how much knowledge I take for granted. How much my wonderful mom, AWANA, church, and Moody taught me about theology and the Gospel. I came in assuming concepts like atonement, repentance, the sovereignty of God, and the fallen state of man were basic, understood, and accepted by even baby believers. Maybe new believers would not entirely grasp their fullness, but I couldn’t imagine they wouldn’t at least be aware and accepting of those foundational truths. But I was wrong. Each week I find the challenge of communicating the basics in a way that is understandable to people from a different culture and worldview than my own.

And I would fail miserably. Week after week, I know I would fail if it were not for the supernatural understanding and control of the Holy Spirit. The most amazing days are the ones that I can feel and know He is filling and using me. Those days I am certain I am not speaking my own words. I would not have thought of that illustration to illuminate the truth. I would have just pushed through the material without stopping where it was needed. I would not have brought anything to benefit the hearers if the Spirit hadn’t used my voice and mind, and even facial expressions! Every week when I finish, I breathe a sigh of relief, and usually go home with a song of praise in my heart for what the Lord has done.

But I know I have an enemy who hates what I do. He is furious to see people reading the Word and seeking understanding. He would like nothing better than to disable me and rob my teachers of this opportunity. But my Jesus is stronger!! I know He will fight for me.

Right now it is Tuesday night. Tomorrow is Bible study, and I’m asking for your prayers. Would you please pray for the Lord’s covering over my body, mind, car, home, friends, and everything else that will inevitably come under attack tonight and tomorrow? Would you please pray that even in my weakness and inabilities, Jesus’ strength would be made perfect? That He would fill me with His Spirit and give me supernatural understanding and ability to teach His Word?

I continually see the evidence of your prayers, and I’ll look forward to watching how Jesus works tonight too!!


  1. Praying for you today, and adding you to the "Tuesday" page of my prayer journal!

  2. It's a joy & privilege to pray for you & those the Lord has you ministering with & to in Africa, Melanie. Count me in to pray for you every Tuesday. :) ~Deb Sadlo

  3. Shirley ArmstrongMarch 8, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    I will be praying for you and your needs. God bless you

  4. Yes Praying for you my friend.. hang in there..