Women, you are invited to join our Summer Bible Study Project, Psalm 107, beginning the week of July 10 with a large group teaching and home based small groups and continuing through the week of August 7. The study is written by women of Bayou City Fellowship – Cody Andras, Crista Merrell, Corlischa Badenhorst, Amanda Jones, Melissa Money, Liesel Araoz, Kate Harden and Katie Stein. Our hope is that you will come for community, to know and be known by other women and to learn stories of the faithfulness of God throughout history and in the present. The following excerpt, written by Cody Andras, is an introduction to where we will journey together in the coming month.
I love a good story. Give me a good plot and some solid character development and I’m happy to lose myself to another place, to another time, to another’s life. There is power in story, whether in word or film. We are drawn into the drama. If the story is told right, we are more than simply entertained. We laugh and cry and feel what they feel. Even if we know it isn’t real.
And if the story is real—if the story is a retelling of what really did take place—then we cry and laugh and hope all the harder right along with them.
Any story can leave a mark. But it’s typically the true ones that sear us.
As I write this, my Bible is open next to me on the dining room table and I keep looking at it, thinking, He didn’t have to write it down. He didn’t have to tell His story. He didn’t have to leave a record of all that He has done—of all that He will do.
But He did. Because it matters.
Because He knows that we have hearts prone to wander. Because He knows that we have hearts bent toward disobedience. Because He knows that we were bound in sin and darkness. Because He knows that our days tempt us toward doubt.
Sometimes this great big God is so very hard to see in the present. Sometimes He’s hard to find against the backdrop of today, in the rush of right now, in the not yet and the still is of circumstances we can’t always see past.
Recently, I’ve been waking up with the dull ache of missing a God who has promised His presence. I haven’t been seeing Him in places where I think I should. I have read His Word and it has lacked the thrill. Worship has felt rote and I’ve wondered if my prayers are ricocheting off the walls and around the room. Trusting a God who feels distant starts to seem very hypothetical. Faith strains, and we are tempted to doubt the faithfulness of the One we seek.
But His faithfulness does not shift with the seasons.
Sometimes we need to look back on our stories and remember His faithfulness to us. I remember waking up one morning about a year ago as the confusion of a particularly painful season was just beginning to recede. I woke up that day and I realized I was rested. I still remembered how it had felt, for all those months, to wake up restless. But I could see that morning what I’d not been able to see until that moment—that the Lord had wrestled right there with me until I rested, that I’d never been alone, that He’d been wrapped tight around my waking form all those other mornings, too. I can see Him now, the shape of Him, in all the moments of that story that were hard to live. But I know that I did not sense Him then. That helps me to trust that He’s here now, too.
Sometimes we need to lean hard against God’s faithfulness in another’s story. This morning at church, I blinked back tears and whispered the words of a worship song while a friend raised her confident voice and hands to heaven. I wanted her faith, but I didn’t have it at that moment. So I bowed my head and kept whispering the words, and I let her confident assurance remind me that the One we seek is faithful. And I know that next month mine might be the confident voice, and hers might be the wavering one that needs to be reminded of His goodness and His mercy and His grace.
Stories—our own and others’—speak to the faithfulness of our God, to His power to heal, to help, to rescue, to redeem. Stories remind us of what is sometimes so hard to see in the present. Stories tether us to the truth of who God is.
So He wrote His story down. And we can hold the Scriptures in our hands and finger through the pages and rest our foreheads on it and let the words wash over us. We can find an account of a God we cannot always see in stories that we can see.
We can let stories assure us of who He has always been.
We can let stories invite us to tell who He still is.
We can let stories tether us to the truth of who He’ll always be.
This summer we are going to spend time looking at His story—the one written down for us in the Scriptures. Each week, guided by different women from Bayou City Fellowship, we will look at a portion of Psalm 107, and then spend some time in the Old and New Testaments.
The best place to start is in the Word, so take a moment to reflect on Psalm 107:1-3 which reads,
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
We will see the story of God’s steadfast love to the ones who lived so long ago. We will also have a chance to reflect on God’s enduring faithfulness to us in our own stories and in the stories of the women around us. Our hope for you is that this summer will give you a chance to see the Lord’s steadfast love and faithfulness then in way that allows you to trust and declare His steadfast love and faithfulness now.
In short, we hope that this summer our study will give the redeemed of the Lord a chance to “say so.”
Visit our registration page for more information and to find a group!