by Carrie Burns
Oy! The lull after lunch. Friday afternoon. Everyone already filled to the brim. The sun finally deciding to show its warm face. Boating, hiking, golfing, dancing, movies, games or well-needed rest. This is what the Hebrew Excursion option was up against. I expected that maybe five people might attend the Hebrew word study on ascend. I had made 10 handouts, just in case. When a handful of us were in the room, I thought, okay, let’s get started, but hang on, look at the door – what in the world! Clusters of women, buzzing with fellowship, began entering and packing themselves in the conference room. We had a full house. For Hebrew. Forget the handouts.This is extraordinary to me. We live in a time when many American churches discard the Old Testament as irrelevant, so for them, delving into the Hebrew would be an unnecessary waste of time. Other Christians, who rightly believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, don’t get around to doing word studies in the original language, viewing it as tedious and requiring too much effort to be worthwhile. Not so for these women.
Astonished at the turn-out, I told them up-front that since I had way more material than we could possibly cover, when I begin to see the first couple of faces glazing over, we’ll shut her down. I watched, but it never happened. We kept going. We read passages, translations and discussed stories and situations of ascent. Taking my cue from attentive faces, I added more, sprinkling in historical, cultural and Israel-related stories that lengthened our time together. These women remained focused. Faces were lighting up. God was firing-off connections in their minds – it was visible. Not one passed out. Not one glazed over. I gave them everything I had prepared and then some. The cognitive and spiritual agility in that room was positively Olympian.
Church, behold our sisters: high level, high interest, determined and sacrificial. Women who do not shrink back at the ascent but study to show themselves approved (2 Tim 2:15) and who take delight and strength in the treasures gained by digging-deeper. I believe we all left our time together refreshed with knowledge that further illuminates the love, glory and wonder of our Hebrew Lord. In pandemical days, there is no doubt this glorious ascent will continue for this group of women. God will use these Ascenders to bless and encourage others, as He did for me for that sunny Friday afternoon, after lunch, at the women’s retreat called, Look Up.
And who shall stand in His holy place?