Being Part of A Community
It seems like I’ve heard a lot recently, that in order to experience the fullness that life has to offer, we must be part of a community. By community, I don’t mean neighborhood. Though, I suppose they’re not excluded.
So..life’s not meant to be lived alone. Ok, I get it.. I do. Internally, I understand it. In fact, INTERNALLY is where I prefer figuring stuff out. What can I say? It’s my jam and I’m good at it!
Except, I’m a Christian woman. There’s that. And as far as I can tell, it’s kinda my duty to invite others in. Specifically, others who are faithful to God. And not just letting them in the door for coffee, but into parts of my life that could leave me vulnerable.
The challenge here is that this took many, many, many years for people I’m CLOSEST with to get an invitation for, if they ever even got one. So, therein lies my struggle. Or one of them, anyway.
I greatly desire being filled – like, overflowing – with the power of God. I do believe that a requirement for this is having real, raw community with my brothers and sisters of faith.
Everybody that’s WITH us – physically – unfortunately, isn’t always FOR us. Nor are they capable of encouraging us to push forward in our eternal goals. But when I allow myself to be involved – “all in” style – with a group of like-minded individuals, and be willing to learn from their struggles, while letting them also learn from my own, God’s power could quite possibly be unleashed on us, recreating our future.
Yes. I get what I need to be doing. Hell, I’ve experienced these benefits. I’ve let people in the church in & they’ve let me in their lives before. And the walls do crumble.
When I first became a Christian, I saw them break down before my eyes. Very slowly, but nonetheless, well-built walls came undone. I also watched God work in some amazing ways through this.
As I think of the people who influenced me, when I was first beginning to seek out connections within the church, I often wonder what might have been if they’d not stepped out from their own comfort zones. Sitting with someone and being willing to share details of your story shouldn’t be thought too little of. I was hesitant & withdrawn in our Boot Camp, as we called it at church – a chance for people to feel out the mission of the church and make sure they thought they were a good fit for this community. I was a somewhat-single mother, unsure of how I’d ended up at this point of my life. Because of a couple of people inviting me & my 3 babies to a holiday get-together, I believe that my destiny was changed. These Christians followed what they were being lead to do and I’m eternally grateful.
Can I really ignore the fact that someone out there could need the same kind of encouragement from me? I’m an introvert, no doubt. To say I don’t open up very easily would be an understatement. But. Where I am weak, He is strong.
I pray that He’ll guide me to people who I’m meant to be in community with, during this very season. May I be open to living real honest life, as I’m called to do, with them. And vice versa. In Jesus’ name. Amen. ?
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17
New Sermon Series with Grace Point Church is on loving your neighbors. “It’s a movement.” Pastor Jeff Harris
Love Your Neighbor