After my last post, someone asked how to endure all of the trials and heartaches of the world. I don’t have all of the answers, but here’s one of the most important parts of my life that helps me stay close to God and endure what life throws at me and my family:
I don’t want this to be a brag session, but my life has completely changed since I decided to really get involved in my church community. Things still go wrong, I’m still stressed out more than I need to be, we still don’t have any money, but we can make it through. We WILL make it through. By the way, if I wanted to brag, I’d talk about how awesome I am at watching TV or how many donuts I can eat. But I digress.
The key to being in community at church is that you have to take a risk. After attending our church for a while and keeping the seat warm, we decided to start attending a weekly study group. The first night we attended, we didn’t know a soul there. We went anyway. Then we went the next week, and the next, and the next. Now, we can’t image not going to class on Wednesday night. From that group, we gained friendships and learned that we aren’t the only ones going through the trials in our life; and just knowing that is HUGE!
Along with that weekly group, I’m in 2 other small groups. One is a men’s group and one is a couples group. Both of these have helped the entire family as we navigate through life. I can share with my men’s groups the things that guys go through; and as a couple, my wife and I can share what we go through as a couple with our couples group. The people in these groups reassure and encourage us, just as we reassure and encourage them.
Being in Christian community takes time and effort.
- Do I always want to wake up at 5:00am on Tuesday mornings? Absolutely not, but I do it anyway. I do it because I know the value of the hour spent with that group of guys.
- Do I want to scramble on Tuesday nights to get home from work in enough time to get the kids ready to leave to get to a friend’s house for Bible study? Nope. It’s exhausting, but I know that when my kids see their mom and dad reading the Bible with others, they will remember that and I want that to be their normal.
- Do I want my kids to spend 2 more hours on Wednesday nights at a place they just spent the last 9 hours? No way. I would like for them to be home, but what Chantel and I learn in the classes at church gets used at home to make us better parents.
The easiest thing someone can do is try to do it all on their own. The trouble with doing this is, well, they will fail. We were created to be around other people. Some of us prefer lots of people around us, while others of us prefer just a few people at one time. Both are ok, but the point is that we need each other.
Even Jesus had friends to help him through life. Don’t you think we need the same thing?