Lesson #7—The value of a strong faith and a family of believers
I spoke with one of my prayer partners the other day and poured out my heart…again. God bless her, she’s been with me for longer than my husband, so she knows me pretty well by now. That is my blessing. I can always call on her to pray…no matter what, no matter where, no matter when. She is my sister in Christ. We are family way beyond blood or legal definitions even though it has been years since we’ve seen each other in person.
I’m blessed to have more than one of these amazing prayer partners in life. Some of them have been with me through years. Others are much newer, but no less valued.
As we talked, I told her about how much I was missing my home church family. I told her how grateful I was for the years of study and knowledge that I have within me already so that I can draw strength from that in this time of waiting without. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do life without what I already know about God and His goodness to me. It is difficult living in limbo between places and not having a proper church home. I’ve grown accustomed to that luxury…so much so, that I’ve often taken it for granted. I’ve had days when I chose not to attend in order to do other things or to simply rest. (You, too? Imagine that!)
These past few weeks, however, have shown me the value of gathering together with fellow believers, being united in our worship and choosing to learn more about our God corporately so that we can incorporate that knowledge individually. In this time of waiting, God is giving me the gift of a renewed love for His church and His people.
I miss my Sunday School class members and I still tear up when they include us in the weekly prayer list. I miss the faces of the people I usually sit near on Sundays and the hugs and smiles we share during our welcome time together. I miss hearing their voices as we sing praises to God. Most of all, however, I miss hearing the Word of God preached by a pastor who has chosen to spend his life bringing God’s word to life personally and in ways that allow others to know and understand God better in their own lives.
Radio teaching is fantastic and that has been my church over the past few weeks of traveling back and forth, but it is no substitute for the real thing. I have raised my voice and my hands in praise along with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and I’ve listened to valuable insights by the like of Chuck Swindoll and John MacArthur. Amazing worship. Amazing teaching on the Word of God. NOT the same as being there in person. Not by a long shot.
I can’t wait to get settled, find my new church family and begin that part of the Georgia journey.
What about you? Have you joined in where you are? Are you in need of a church home today, too? Make a renewed commitment to join in where you are. There are others out there who need you, too!
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25 (ESV)