As Springtime approaches, I find myself longing for the winter to end and for newness of life to emerge. Visible in the buds growing on the trees, the flowers beginning to bloom, and the birds beginning to sing, my soul yearns to take a deep breath and relish the beauty rising. Spring is coming.
It won’t be long before Spring cleaning overtakes my house. Though my family has not yet lived in our home a year, junk quickly accumulates. The purge is not always pleasant, but the rewards are worth the frustration. Dark corners of the house will be scoured and cleaned. Rooms will be likely turned upside down in order to bring the newness of life inside the walls of my home. Springtime ordains the upkeep of the inside.
Doesn’t that language tug and pull your soul’s heartstrings? It does mine. I long to be made new once again from the inside out. I long to turn upside down the dark corners of my heart. If those tender places of weakness are not purged, I fear I will miss the deep breath of Springtime and the fullness of life God promises.
I am choosing to ordain my Spring. I am ordaining a time to be intentional about sitting with the Lord and allowing Him to expose the corners that need cleared of the cobwebs. The Thrive ministry at TVBC is opening an online study, a guide through C.S. Lewis’ great classic The Screwtape Letters. Though it may seem an odd choice, I am convinced my dark corners stay hidden and protected because my mind is my own worst enemy. There temptation is birthed, I learn to self-protect, and I convince myself the pain of allowing the light to overcome those dark places will be too great.
In writing to his brother, C.S. Lewis writes the inspiration for this book is to “give all the psychology of temptation from the other point of view.” Through the letters and the exchanges between Screwtape, an undersecretary in the lowerarchy of Hell, and Wormwood, his incompetent nephew and junior devil, we will see how our thoughts are easily distracted and influenced. Spring is the time to resolve ourselves to grow our roots deep, weed sin from the hidden dark places, and renew our faith.
Spring is also a busy season in my home, my church, and my work. If you are reading this, wanting to join the study online, but are hesitant because the upcoming days in your calendar are filling up, know saying yes to a thing is always saying no to something else. What is of eternal value? We can be intentional and ordain our Spring together.
The Screwtape Letters consist 31 individual letters, each letter with six paragraphs or less. We will cover 4 letters a week, each letter taking less than 10 minutes to read. At any point during the week you can log in to our Group Spaces discussion forum, read through the discussion questions, post your own thoughts, and read what others are posting. Depending on your schedule for the week, you might choose to tackle each set of discussion questions as you read each letter. Others might read all assigned letters for the week before logging on and completing the discussion questions. The discussion questions will be posted several weeks in advance allowing you to work ahead if you are a fast reader or have a vacation planned. If life happens and you get behind, the questions will still be there when you get caught up.
Women sometimes start bible studies and never finish them because one or two weeks derailed them. They couldn’t get the homework done and therefore felt bad about coming to the session or the participating in discussion. But God knows our hearts and He knows what we need. He will teach as you bring what you have to the table. I don’t know about you, but the times He has spoken deeply to me were often times when I felt like I had nothing to offer. He calls us to come to the table so let’s be obedient. He brings the blessing.
In the next two weeks before the study of The Screwtape Letters officially begins, I hope you will log in to the Thrive: TVBC Women’s Group Spaces account, browse around, and learn how to navigate the forum. Any women are welcome to join the discussion so feel free to invite family and friends via long distance!
Spring is coming. Let’s be intentional to ordain our time, all the while asking God to bring clarity to our thoughts as He refreshes and renews us from the inside out.