Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. HEBREWS 10:25
My pug puppy Stella Rose is doing great in puppy obedience school. She’s my fifth pug, but the first I’ve had to take to school. My wild child has learned how to behave and even shine around other dogs and the teacher/trainer. We’ve both had fun getting to know people “owned” by a varied mix of breeds. Stella Rose and I watched the tiny, shy poodle finally come out of her shell. We were thrilled when the boxer mix eventually developed control of his incessant bark.
Everyone was proud and relieved when the huge Irish wolfhound stopped jumping up on people. All the dogs had “issues,” and we will never know why or how they developed them. What we saw was how they learned to overcome them by sitting under the teaching of a masterful dog trainer (we nicknamed her the Dog Whisperette). I remembered thinking the first night that everyone looked like they wanted to exclaim, “I know my dog’s not bad; he just needs a little help.” And they all got it. We humans are the same. It is so much more fun and effective to gather together in Bible study to learn from the Master. He allows us to help each other to grow when we meet in His name. We come with unique and individual struggles that are sometimes irritating to outsiders. But not to seasoned classmates—they know that with time and effort, God teaches us how to overcome, and we blossom into humble, grateful, appreciated “oaks of righteousness.”
We watch, assist and celebrate classmates’ victories and usually (probably always) glean understanding for ourselves. Everyone is different, but we all have the same compassionate, patient Trainer/Teacher. How much better to sit at His feet with other precious students than to struggle alone! “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:3).
Action Item: Think of a time when the growth of a fellow classmate ministered to you. Pray for preservation of that victory.
Prayer: O God, You are the Teacher. Thank You for all my precious classmates. Help us to learn what You need us to know.
Beth Serpas, Houston, Texas
Devotion taken from Better Together, available now in the online store at www.fp4h.com.