—By Maria 3/83 Maria No.6 DO 1794
1. IT SEEMS LIKE NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR THE FAMILY HERE TO GET TOGETHER & SHARE THEIR LESSONS. Everyone has been going through so much lately & since everybody has been learning a lot‚ they'll each have something to share & it won't put any one person on the spot. I think it would be really good if you'd all discuss what you're learning.
2. THE LORD SAID THAT THE PURPOSE FOR TRIALS & TESTS IS NOT ONLY TO PURGE US & make us better vessels‚ but also so we can be comforted & then we can "comfort others with the comfort wherewith we're comforted." (2Cor.1:4) I think a lot of us say, "OK, Lord, some day when someone needs it, then I'll be able to use this lesson to comfort them." But we don't realise that one way to comfort others is by sharing the things we've learned along the same line & that maybe we can comfort them now, before they actually need it! Why should we keep the lessons for the future? We can comfort others in advance so that perhaps they won't have to be so comforted later! If we share these lessons now, when the time comes they may have already learned it & it will be a comfort to others.
3. SHARING THE LESSONS THAT WE'RE LEARNING NOT ONLY MAKES US MORE HONEST & MORE HUMBLE, it also helps other people & draws us all closer together. I'm talking about sharing heart–to–heart‚ not just superficially, but sharing what the Lord's been doing in our lives‚ the lessons we're learning, the things we've been going through, & I think it really helps other people. Who knows, if you hear the testimony of others, it may help some of these problems to not even occur in your own life. I just think that maybe once in awhile it is worth it to get together as a Home to discuss these things. (AMEN!—D.)
4. YOU MAY NOT ALWAYS HAVE SUCH PROFOUND THINGS TO SHARE but you should be growing every day & you should be learning at least a few things. The Lord should have shown you something in a whole week, if not, you're not progressing like you should! Of course you learn a lot more when you're going through trials & when you have a lot of battles, but even if your week hasn't been filled with battles, you still should have learned something. We're supposed to be growing all the time & you should have something to share, even if it's only a little thing. Who knows?—That one little thing the Lord shows you may be really great to somebody else & may be just the thing they need to really help them make it through a big battle or problem that they're having, or it may prevent them from having some future trial!
5. I THINK TO BE ONE FAMILY & ONE IN THE LORD, WE NEED TO SHARE A LITTLE MORE TOGETHER THAN WE DO. (Gem: It helps us to understand each other better too. If you know someone is going through something or getting a victory over something‚ it helps you to remember to pray for them & to be more mindful of them & even a little sympathetic towards them.) Right! And besides promoting sympathy, compassion & prayer, you benefit from it as well, because they are giving you something that you need too! They're sharing & teaching you from what they've learned. It actually causes you to respect them & look up to them even more because they've learned something you haven't learned, & maybe you won't have to go through it because of what they've learned & shared.
6. I THINK ONCE IN AWHILE IT'S A GOOD THING TO DO. You don't have to harp on it & make a big thing out of it & do it all the time, but once in awhile when you do have lessons to share, I think it would really benefit others. You could even discuss them at your fellowships.
7. WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE I WAS TEACHER OF A COLLEGE SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS & we would get together sometimes & share the things the Lord was teaching us, & it was so beneficial! It was really a precious little time, actually it was one of the best times I had in college that I can remember. It brought a real unity, it brought a real sweetness & a real closeness, because when you get together & really pour out your heart to the Lord together & you share your burdens & your lessons & everything, it really draws you close together.
8. WE GO THROUGH THESE TESTS & TRIALS TO PURGE US & TO MAKE US BETTER VESSELS, to make us more fit for His use & more humble & more loving, but He also does it so we can teach others the same lesson, "to comfort others with the comfort wherewith we are comforted." (2Cor.1:4)
9. WE'RE GOING THROUGH THESE TRIALS FOR A PURPOSE & the Lord is using them to grow us up. He's turned up the fire & things have gotten hotter. He's purging us & we're having to look to Him to pull us through.—And He is! He's giving us so many victories! He's healing our wounds, He's comforting us & now we can turn around & comfort others. But we don't go through all this just so we can comfort others someday when we're running the World or in the Millennium or something. We need to start now & share these lessons now, right here in our own Home where it will be a help now.
10. MAYBE YOU CAN GIVE EVERYONE A LITTLE ADVANCE NOTICE & they can pray about something they can share. I think it's good if they have some time to think & pray about what they're learning, because sometimes you don't learn the lesson unless you really pray about it & ask the Lord what He is trying to teach you!
11. IT'S LIKE I TOLD SARA, YOU GET UP IN THE MEETING & YOU CAN DO IT TWO DIFFERENT WAYS: One where you say, "OK, now what lessons have you learned recently that have been a real help to you & would be a real help to others?"—This way you're putting them on the spot with no advance notice! In some ways this is easier because they don't have to worry about it in advance & they don't get all nervous about it & think, "Oh dear, what am I going to share when talking in front of all these people?!"
12. THE OTHER POSSIBILITY IS TO GIVE EVERYONE SOME ADVANCE WARNING‚ WHICH I THINK MIGHT BE BETTER because it allows everyone to have some prayerful preparation. You need to think about those things & pray about those things & find out what the Lord's trying to teach you! If you're just asked right on the spot about lessons you're learning, you might not know what to say because maybe you didn't even know that you were learning lessons. Maybe there's something the Lord's trying to teach you & you haven't even asked Him what it is or you don't even have your eyes open to the fact that He is trying to teach you something.
13. IF YOU'RE PUT ON THE SPOT WITHOUT WARNING & ARE ASKED WHAT LESSON YOU'VE LEARNED‚ you may not even know, but if you have time to think about it & pray & ask the Lord, He'll show you. The answer is there all the time, but if you don't open your eyes to it or you don't ask for it, you might not realise that He is trying to teach you something. "Ask & ye shall receive," but by the same token if you don't ask, a lot of times you don't receive! What could have been a lesson & what the Lord wants to be a lesson for you, may not be a lesson if you don't take the time to ask the Lord, "What are You trying to show me?"
14. WHEN I WAS GROWING UP MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME THE VERSE, "ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD." (Rom.8:28) But when things happened, I don't recall that they taught me to ask the Lord what He was trying to teach me. With everything that happened, every sickness‚ every accident or whatever, I don't remember them asking, "Well, Lord, what are You trying to teach us?" Of course some things were so obvious, like when the door got slammed in my Dad's face & they kicked him out of his pastorate, well‚ obviously that wasn't the church my Dad was supposed to keep pastoring! Some things are so obvious you don't really have to ask the Lord! But many things aren't so obvious & we need to pray & ask the Lord to show us what He's trying to teach us. I wasn't raised in an atmosphere where we needed to find a reason for everything & what the Lord was trying to show us through it. Although my parents sincerely loved the Lord, they didn't seem to understand Him very well & they never did teach me that lesson.
15. YOU CAN GO ALL THROUGH YOUR LIFE & MISS ALL OF THESE THINGS THE LORD WANTS TO TEACH YOU & is trying to teach you‚ if you don't ask Him, or if you don't open your eyes to it or if you don't take it as from the Lord. It's so sad, because so many little things happen all the time that the Lord wants to use to teach us, different things that He wants to use to speak to us through, but if we don't look at it as a message or something that the Lord is trying to show us, then it just passes & we don't get it, we don't learn from it & it's wasted.
16. ALL THAT TO SAY THAT I THINK GIVING THE HOME A LITTLE ADVANCE NOTICE & TIME FOR PREPARATION & PRAYING ABOUT WHAT TO SHARE IS BETTER THAN JUST PUTTING PEOPLE ON THE SPOT. The point of having a time of sharing your lessons isn't just to see how well people can ad-lib at a moment's notice, but rather to get something serious & worthwhile & important out of it! In order to do that, I think most people need a little preparation to think about what they're going to say & how they're going to say it.
17. IT REALLY IS IMPORTANT THAT OUR HOMES TAKE A LITTLE TIME TO SHARE THEIR LESSONS, because what affects one of us affects all of us. It's not like we're all in little ones or twos or threes, little cliques—the office team or the childcare team, or the administrative team or something! We all affect each other! "No man liveth unto himself!" (Rom.14:7) We can all learn from each other! If one person learns the lesson & shares it, then the rest of us may not have to go through the same thing to learn the same lesson!
18. WHEN WE SHARE WITH OTHERS WE ARE TELLING THEM WHAT WE ARE LEARNING & WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH, which of course helps them to understand us better & to be more kind & merciful & sympathetic with us. I love sympathy‚ ha! At the same time you're giving them something too, it's sort of a two-way street, everyone benefits from it. They give you sympathy & understanding & more concern or more prayers, & you, in turn, teach them & give them of the lesson that you've learned. It's communication! And the Lord said, "Neglect not to communicate". (Heb.13:16)
19. IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE NICE FOR YOU TO DO, especially since everybody is learning so many good lessons. You shouldn't waste these valuable lessons by keeping them to yourself when everybody can profit from them. It will help you to be honest & open & humble & all those good things that we all need to be! OK? Why don't you try it & see? Who knows, you may like it!—And you'll certainly learn from it! Amen?
20. (AMEN! GBAKY SHARING!—IN Jesus' name, AMEN!—How about next Communion or Fellowship or Daily Devotions?—Even Confession Sessions!—Just don't confess somebody else's sins!—Confess your own!—Amen? GBY! ILY! Isn't Maria terrific!—GBH! TYJ! HAL! She's such a blessing to us all!—Love‚ D.)