Peter Gill shares some encouragements from recent home group studies
Ellen and I are privileged to be part of a lovely housegroup, which has continued throughout this challenging year, meeting mainly by means of Zoom each fortnight and WhatsApp. There are thirteen of us, spread over all age groups, although on average about nine of us meet online at any time. We have a chat, then learn about God’s character and ways from the Bible and how this might relate to us, and finish with prayer. We try to keep in touch between get-togethers by phoning folks, which for us, has been an unexpected blessing in these difficult days, as we usually have more
in-depth conversations on the phone than we did in pre-Covid days!
We have recently started a new series on Biblical characters who suffered times of isolation (thinking of lockdown), looking at why they went into isolation, how God taught and moulded them in these times, and how He used those people when they came out of isolation. We looked at Moses fleeing into the desert after murdering an Egyptian and his 40 years of relative isolation there as a shepherd. We saw how God graciously still used him to lead His people out of slavery (at age 80!), after humbling him and training him. We were encouraged to be reminded that our past does not have to define our future, and that our failures need not be final!
Most recently we looked at Elijah’s isolation (also in a desert) and how he was depressed, discouraged and exhausted. We saw God’s tender, compassionate handling of this burnt-out prophet, both in his physical, mental and spiritual needs. We reminded ourselves that God is not like a demanding employer who wants to extract the last ounce of productivity from his employees, but that He is our Heavenly Father who cares for us, knowing how much each of us can take.
In these unusual times where we cannot enjoy meeting together in the church building, we can still encourage each other from the people in the Bible who have not only held onto God in their great need, but have proved His strength and nearness to them and often being a great blessing to others as a result!
Peter Gill, home group leader
To join a home group, please email Laura Simpkins: firstname.lastname@example.org