When I think of ladies bible study at Prethi’s house, the aromatic smell of chai tea wafts into my mind. Soon I begin to imagine the deep flavor of the tea, amid other Indian delicacies prepared by Prethi and her hospitable spirit. But truth be told, the food is simply a bonus, albeit a very delightful bonus. What really draws me back every week is the nourishment that takes place in my soul thanks to the opportunity to fellowship with wise, godly women who have quickly become role models for me. As we read and discuss the Old Testament together, my mind and my heart are engaged and I’m able to glean truths about God that I wouldn’t catch when I study his word by myself.
After leisurely socializing and swapping stories, oftentimes about life in Poland as foreigners, we discuss about five chapters of the Bible together. I entered during Genesis chapter 36 – the story of Joseph. I learned so much from our discussion that I’d like to share some of my notes here:
“Questions that arose: Why is Joseph so likeable? What does he do, not only to earn his father’s honor, but also favor from God?
What pleases God is that Joseph obeys and listens to God and doesn’t blame God for his misfortunes (actually, he kind of does but in a positive way – at the end of the story he acknowledges and praises that God’s good plan involved his hardships). Joseph also maintains a positive attitude and models perseverance in any situation he ends up.
It stood out how Joseph was tempted by his master’s wife to sleep with her and he refused her proposal repeatedly. He could have easily done it, even for the very reason of quieting her, but he doesn’t even consider it. He was pleasing God by obeying and remaining blameless, yet the situation still lands him in prison. Prison!!
What could he have done differently while still resisting Potiphar’s wife? Basically, nothing. What’s worse, no one seems to care that Joseph is in prison for something he didn’t do. He is forgotten by society and even forgotten by the cupbearer for two years after Joseph helped interpret his dream.
BUT, God doesn’t forget Joseph! In fact, Joseph is at the center of God’s plan, which is probably why God eases his situation in prison and even more so after he is freed.
I’d like to remember this part of Joseph’s story as a reminder that when tempted to sin, don’t. Flee from it, even when it’s not the popular, worldly opinion. People in our lives and especially our culture are constantly pulling at our robes to bring us to a bed of sin, just like Potiphar’s wife. Even though we know that God will forgive us of our sins, we can show how much we love him by obeying and resisting temptation. We can be like Joseph. What is tempting you?
‘But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.’
1 Timothy 6:11
Remember, God is in charge and already knows our future. Our job is simply to focus on him in every situation we may find ourselves in.”
Just like us internationals at PIC, Joseph knows what it’s like to be a foreigner and so does God. Funnily enough, I was a little hesitant to start attending bible study because I can be quite shy and didn’t know if I would fit in. My doubts and insecurities vanished pretty much the moment I got into Brooke’s car to drive to bible study. Anyone who has met Brooke would probably agree that her vivacious personality, sense of humor, and caring nature make her a magnetic person who is extremely easy to talk to. I am really beginning to understand how God desires to bless and strengthen us through the love and devotion of other believers, in my case through many of the ladies at PIC.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Written by Renee Bauwens
Renee and Steven are another phenomenal example of why we love PIC. Both were studying in Poznan (from different countries) and fell in love. Perhaps it was their artistic hearts that brought them together, ultimately, however, it was God’s desire for the best in their lives.
It’s an honor to have Renee join the PIC Blog. Keep your eyes open as she will write again!