Guest post by Joanne Maulding, KSBC Women's Ministry Team
Scenario one: Imagine you are in a crowd of women. The speaker says to the crowd, "Raise your hand if you would feel comfortable to mentor a woman younger than you." Think about that. Would you raise your hand?
I'm not sure if I would raise mine, at least not confidently. My hand would be half-raised and my palm turning face up then face down to convince the speaker that I really am not the best person for the job. Many believable excuses come to mind for the lack of confidence.
Scenario two: Imagine you are in the same crowd of women. The speaker says to the crowd, "Raise your hand if you would be willing to share a time in your life in which you struggled through something difficult, but came through it more aware of God’s goodness." Would you raise your hand?
Maybe, maybe not.
Personally, I would feel more comfortable to raise a hand in the second scenario than the first. However, I'm not sure if these two scenarios are actually all that different. In fact, I have seen how these two can dovetail quite nicely.
Scripture is very clear that we will go through trials. Isaiah 43:2 tells us, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."
It's not a matter of "if" but "when." James encourages us to "count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds" (James 1:3). It is through these various trials that God strengthens our faith and produces Christ-like qualities. James finishes his thought by reminding us to count it all joy because "you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness" (James 1:4).
Scripture is also very clear that we are not alone in our trials, despite our feelings. Second Corinthians 1:4 tells us that God is the one "who comforts us in our affliction." We can trust that God will rally around us and comfort us in the middle of the trial. Although it does not say that He will necessarily take the affliction away, it does give us a reason for the affliction: "so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Cor 1:4b). Not only does God rally around me in my situation to comfort me, but this also allows me to know how to go and comfort others who are struggling, just as God comforted me.
Let's think back to our initial scenarios. What better way is there to teach than from personal experience? Are you perfect? No, only God is perfect. Do you have it all together? Of course not. Will it require you to be vulnerable and honest? Yes. Our imperfections and mistakes keep forcing us to run to Christ for strength, help and wisdom. As we continue to do this over time, we are being molded into a person who mirrors Christ's characteristics and can help others see the benefit of handling trials biblically.
Our women's ministry team at KSBC wants to take Scripture seriously, and it is clear from Scripture that we are to live out the Gospel with other believers. This includes older Christians coming alongside of younger Christians and teaching them biblical principles from personal experience.
Starting Sunday, March 1, at 9:15 am, we will be offering a women’s connection hour class studying Titus chapter 2 for six weeks (through Sunday, April 5). We are praying that as we dig into Scripture, we will not only agree with God that it is important for older women to invest in younger women, but that we will also meet new sisters in Christ, forming new relationships as well as deepening existing relationships. We are encouraging women of all ages and life stages to attend. We understand that many of you serve in various ways on Sunday mornings, so please feel free to attend whichever week(s) fit your schedule.
In addition, on Saturday, February 29, at 9 am, we will be having a women’s breakfast in the church gym. This will be a relaxed time to connect with other ladies in the church. If you are able to contribute some food or are willing to help with set up/clean up, please sign up online or at the welcome desk in the foyer. Please invite your friends!