I know there’s no one who really gets excited year-to-year about Digging Deep to the degree that I do. I’m very thankful to a benevolent God for the privilege of studying with His women around the world. And I am so thankful for those who are willing to help in the details of publishing this study; this year, especially Lindsey VanHook, Jennifer Benavides and Glenn Colley. Just like for every grandmother, every grandchild is the favorite, every digging deep study is my favorite one yet. The study for the coming year has been born in the fire of trial, but borne along with hope and trust in the One who provides a peace that passes all my understanding. I love how His Word consumes and envelopes all of me: It is the antidote for emotional injury, the motivator for thanksgiving in the midst of blessings innumerable, the purifier of tainted thoughts and intents, the parameter of faithful living, the “edge” in my fight against personal wickedness, the spiritual inertia that keeps me from stopping cold in my journey to heaven and the hedge that makes me exchange hate and revenge for hope and restoration. And that’s just the beginning. The Word is the power of God for my salvation (Romans 1:16) and the thorough furnisher of my every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). My Father is simply unbelievable in His benevolence through Bible study.
Here’s a snippet from next year’s study. This “appetizer” from preparing the questions we will answer next year is making me hungry already (Matthew 5: 6). I hope you can travel this road toward heaven with us beginning September 1st. The Word never disappoints. (You don’t have to do Digging Deep to get to heaven. But you do need to dig deep.) Share and invite and encourage and promote. Here’s the excerpt:
God was with Abraham on Mount Moriah. His angel was in a thicket. He stayed Abraham’s hand (Genesis 22). God was with Joseph in the household of Potiphar. He ran with him to a place of purity and impending imprisonment (Genesis 39:21). He was with Moses, even talking to him from a burning bush. He knew about the shoes Moses was wearing and the rod he was carrying (Exodus 3,4). He was with Joshua, even being repetitive in His admonitions to be courageous and in His promises of going with him wherever Joshua proceeded to go (Joshua 1). Joshua must have felt great trepidation at the task ahead. God was in charge of cake- burning and the level of fleece moisture when he was accompanying Gideon (Judges 6). He was with Samuel. calling to him multiple times in the night (I1Samuel 3) and later, making sure he knew what was what in the succession of kings and their anointing (1 Samuel 10,16). He was in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5), in the jail in King Zedekiah’s house (Jeremiah 32:2,3), and in the dungeon (Jeremiah 37:16) with Jeremiah. He was the fire in his bones (Jeremiah 20:9). He was with Hosea when he was forsaken by the wife God had commanded him to take, even having named his children (Hosea 1). His name is not in the book of Esther, but he was in charge of gallows assignment in that amazing saga (Esther 7). He manifested even a bodily presence in a den of hungry lions (Daniel 6). He was in charge of keeping their mouths closed. He took on flesh and walked with His parents to Jerusalem (God was a child with parents!…Luke 2), with the devil on a desert mountaintop and on the temple’s pinnacle (Matthew 4), with Peter on water (Matthew 14), and with the apostles at a well in Samaria (John 4). He rode in the middle of a bunch of common people on a clothes-covered donkey outside of Jerusalem (Luke 19:35) and he walked to the garden, the house of Annas, the Praetorium, and to Golgotha (Mark 14,15). He walked from a tomb and then with two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) and he walked to Bethany with the apostles when lifted up to the heavens to go away to prepare my place (Luke 24:50). This Jesus is with me. He lives in me as I emulate Him (Romans 8:9,10). He has called me, through His word, to the cross and, by faith, I have seen the empty tomb. I will rise, too, one day, and ever be with my Lord. That is ultimate peace. He is at my right hand. I will not be moved.