What a few weeks it has been for me personally and spiritually. God has been showing me so much that I don’t know where to begin. Many of you know that I have recently had a battle with depression and anxiety and when I say recently I mean in the last few weeks. It has been a struggle to stay out of that dark place that I find myself at times. Over the last month I have been testifying about how God has restored and healed me in this fight over the last seven years. I have claimed the victory and I have helped people through their own battles with this issue. So when I found myself in the pit once again the enemy really began to pile on the guilt and shame. I saw myself has a failure and even at one point though that maybe my faith was a sham. I had thoughts of giving up and giving in. I am so blessed to be able to tell you that Jesus showed up and that this story has a complete different ending than it could have had. I have stood before many of you and shared this and once again I share it as another claim of victory. As I have been going through this I have had many thoughts about how we need one another and how we need to be real and authentic with one another. I want to share just a few of these thoughts with you and I pray that they will encourage us to take a different approach in living this life with Jesus.
One, why don’t we have everything in common with each other? Acts 4:32-35, tells us that the people “were of one heart and soul”, could this be said about the body of Christ today? This means that the people trusted one another and share the deep dark parts of their lives – nothing was hidden. We are so good at hiding things from one another. We ask how we are doing and we lie or we just pretend to have it all together but deep down we are a wreck. We are full of fear! Fear that people will think badly of us and our pride will be hurt. We are afraid that people might just keep us accountable. We might just have to really do what we say we believe. Why are we even doing this “Christian” thing?
In my fight recently I would not talk to anyone about what was going on. I was so afraid that people would be ashamed of me, think less of me or even ridicule me. I was being feed the lie that I could not trust people. I know that many people have been hurt by people in the “church” and that the pain is great! I have experienced this as well. I have been left behind and left as an outcast by people who should have shown me grace and mercy. But as I have walked with Jesus he has taught me that it is not the flesh and blood that I was hurt by but by powers in high places. I have learned that I need to say, “Father forgive them” for they do not realize how hurt I am. I have learned through the life of Jesus that I must trust those in the body of Christ and even rejoice in the hard times and in the sadness.
Two, why are there people in need in the church? I know I may be idealistic at times but here is this passage God’s people took care of one another. In the church today we don’t even realize the needs people do have. I am not just talking about money but I am talking about much more. We have treated the church as a place that we go and put on a show and leave emptier than when we arrived. This should not be! We have been taught that God will supply our needs like some kind of cosmic vending machine yet there are still people who have needs. Some even look at those who have need and say, “They must not be where they need to be with God or that need would be taken care of!” When in all actuality the need is not taken care of because the person that has the resources has refused to let it go. People in the church are dying for relationships and there are people in the church who are hungry, lonely, tired and angry and most of us just walk right on by.
Well, I guess I just went on a rant. But I think this is important to think about. How can we be the reflection of Christ in our own church? How can we look the other way when there is a need? I also know that many people say well the “church” can do that. We look at the “church as this organization but we won’t see ourselves as a part of it. Next time we think about the word “church” let’s put our own name in that statement. Like this, “oh, I see there is a family in need, I think I need to take care of that or at least help. Lord, here am I send me!” What would the church, communities and counties look like if we just asked God to change us in this way of thinking?
I believe that we need to reach out to each other. We need to trust each other. We need to be real with each other. We need each other!
In His Grip,