A snowy day where I probably shouldn't travel allows me the time to sit and type out some thoughts......
I'd heard it before. Actually, quite a few times. I may have even gifted myself this CD in my stocking this past Christmas. (Yep, we still occasionally buy CD'S. We have vehicles that are older and if you want to listen to music, it's either the radio or a CD.)
It was just last week one night while carting boys around to practices that one of them said, "Is this song like God is the one singing it to us?"
I smiled and replied, "Exactly like that."
[Don't think for a second that your kids aren't paying attention to the lyrics in the songs that they hear. Sometimes they may not be. But I cannot count the times where someone has piped up from the backseat of the van and asked what a lyric meant or commented about a phrase they heard. They are soaking up whatever we put in front of them. Let's make sure we are giving them true words that will sustain them, grow them, and give them positive messages to reflect on.]
Anyways. This song followed a message that was reflecting upon how the church/Body of Christ is supposed to look and operate, especially in regards to each other. It's been a whole series we've been working through. After the song, the pastor reflected that God can use US to be that army for one another on His behalf.
God is always there. He is always available. He will give us shelter and peace. He is our armor. He will quietly speak truth into our hearts when we are fighting the lies that feel like they are being shouted loudly in our ears. He is enough. He will fill all the holes and voids in our life. He is the only one that can truly save us.
But it's His spirit living through the lives of His people that help us tangibly experience this many times. And we can't always experience that if we isolate ourselves. We were meant to do this life together. The joys, the heartache, the beautiful, and the ugly.
Sometimes it feels easier to isolate. Safer even. Protective. Less likely to be hurt or let down.
We were not meant to depend on others. Our dependency needs to be totally on God....but He can certainly use others to help provide for our needs and to be a part of the rescue process as we go through trials and valleys.
It was exactly a year ago where "our plans" came crashing down and we were left confused, wounded, and discarded.....by people in the church.
I became physically sick, lost my appetite, and struggled with sleeplessness for the first time in my life. Sure, I had been hurt by others before. But not like this.
I'm so grateful that God instilled in us a love for His church and His people (possibly slightly wrongly placed at times....still working through that). Even in our hurt, we had no intention of ever sliding in and out, hiding, or taking a break from gathering with others to worship and study. We both have been so fortunate to have a rich history of a church family and involvement. We knew it's where we needed to be.
Our new church has been a salve to us over this past year, part of the rescue process for our hearts. Building community with others is slow going. Really slow going at times. And it involves vulnerability and intention. But we were grateful to be led by God to a place where we feel valued, have a place to serve and worship, receive sound doctrine, and connect with some pretty great people.
We are so grateful that our God is in the business of rescuing and redeeming. And when we offer ourselves up to Him and seek Him, He reveals Himself to us and lets us be a part of His work in bringing others to His saving love and grace. He is the God who sees us and He is constantly at work bringing Glory to His cause in making beautiful things from messes.
How God's people treat one another, and how they aim to be a part of God's rescue, is one of the greatest tools for the unbelieving world to see and know of God's love.