January 5 – Everyday Gospel – Community

I know the past two days posts have been bitter-sweet truths – great hope in the midst of great hurt. It’s hard when we lose (even if only for a while) people close to us, but it’s a reality of this world we live in. It’s a reality we’ve created with our choosing to do it our way instead of the way God designed it.

But God also designed “fixes” to the issues we’ve created and one of the most tangible solutions is He’s created us to live in community with the people around us. Sadly, we’ve lost some of this in our independent Western lifestyle, but it can be recaptured – and it’s so worth it.

My last two days of “Everyday Gospel” posts have revealed what we all already know, there’s a lot of pain in this life. I’m always burdened when I see people around me attempt to get through it on their own – alone. We weren’t created to be alone nor to attempt to get through this life solo.

Here’s today’s Good News, one of the very best ways to get through this life is with friends. And it’s not as hard as you may think. I’m an introvert by nature – which means being with people wears me out. Yet, being with people is also what gets me through tough times.

Quick sidebar: While I fully believe face-to-face community is the best, I was reminded by so many of your responses to yesterday’s post about Jamie that social media can be beneficial in staying close to each other, as well. Thank you!

I am blessed to be part of several gatherings that get together frequently. Yes, when I started doing this there where times when I really didn’t feel like being around others – I would be tired, or frustrated, or have some other good reason. But having taken the time to just “show up” has brought deep relationships into my life. And it has forged friendships with groups of people that I now see as my refuge from the storms of life. They are the tangible “Jesus” in my life.

Now, when the week has been a struggle, I cannot wait to get with these people. Because I know the conversation will be lively, the food will be delicious, and the relationships will grow stronger. I know I can be real with how my life is going. And I always leave there with my burden a bit lighter.

This is why the Bible tells us to “bear one another burdens.” It’s not to load us down with other people’s problems; it’s because when we all share one another’s burdens the load gets lighter for all of us. It’s like draft horses. When two pull together they are able to pull way more than two times what a single horse can pull alone.

This is what healthy community brings us – people pulling together for the benefit of all, and that’s Good News!

 

#EverydayGospel

 

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