Jun 20, 2010

When sunlight filters through the rain clouds....

I have spent the last nine days feeling overwhelmed with life. I would love to write a long post about how God is still God and He is still faithful (which I know he is). I could talk about how God makes good out of every bad or sad thing (which I know He does). I could talk about how God has a plan for us, to prosper us and not to harm us (true and true).

I can't talk about any of those things today. The storm is still raging, the wind is blowing, the thunder is rumbling. I am sitting on my couch, wrapped in a blanket, and I don't want to get up. I know that it's worse for my friends, Dave and Ami,  who are living through the unspeakable, the death of a newborn. I know how sad I feel, and I could only guess that they must feel 1000 times worse, and it hurts me to know that they hurt.

Yet, I have to say that there have been moments where the storm has stopped raging, and the sun broke through. It is one of my very favorite moments in nature. If it's been raining, and I can see the sun shining, I run outside and look to the heavens. Sometimes I am rewarded with the best thing ever, a rainbow.  Sometimes I can still see the rain falling, sparkling like diamonds in the sun.

This was taken, by me, one day during that miracle moment... can you see the sparkly raindrops?
 
Yesterday, during Ethan's memorial service, I had the opportunity to see my friends, all a part of the same small group Bible study, sparkle like diamonds in the sun.  We all came together and worked as a fine oiled machine to help put together the reception for Ethan's memorial.  It was a labor of love.

It was a rainbow of sorts as well.  A promise of God's faithfulness.  God tells us in the Bible to be in fellowship with one another. "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:23-25

Often I have heard, or read, people justify not going to church because they don't need church to learn about God.  I sort of agree with that.  You can hear or watch a sermon 50 times on a Sunday morning, through radio or television.  If you include the resource of the internet, wow! You would never need to set foot in a church building again!  You have the greatest teachers in the Christian faith at your fingertips.

But I don't think that is why God wants us to go to church.   He created the church as a physical way for Him to hug us.  If you go regularly to church, you build intimacy with other believers, you have accountability, and of course, you have support.  Through that kind of intimacy, you can learn and grow in your faith far more than listening to any sermon on tape.

This weekend, while setting up, cleaning up and the in-between moments there was an incredible amount of "leaning in" that was happening.  Each of us had moments where we would stop what we were doing and remember why we were doing it.  The tears would come.  There were arms to hug and hold around every corner.

That's why I go to Bible study every single Tuesday morning.  I know I was created for that kind of spiritual intimacy.  I crave the accountability, honesty, prayers, and conversations.   I praise God for each of those women and the love that is shared in that special group of people.  He knew, as he sewed us together, that we would need each other during the darkest parts of the storms of life.  He uses us to be the arms of God, holding one another up when we can't stand.  For me, that is the sunlight filtering through the clouds.

Just me, AJ

10 comments:

  1. Whatever gets you there is the road you are meant to travel. That's my thought. :o)

    And I loooove storms. The crackle, the rumbles, just beautiful.

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  2. This is so beautifully and honestly put.


    I do believe that the relationships that we form at church are what really gets us through. It's not just going in and listening to a sermon. It's getting together with others and putting those lessons into action and helping each other life.

    I'm keeping your friends in my prayers.

    Oh, and that pic? GORGEOUS!

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  3. So eloquently said. I, too, have been having my own storm.

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  4. Sorry you and your friends have to deal with one of the most horrible thins this world has to offer:O) Praying for you!!!

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  5. Beautiful pic!
    Love it.
    This post is so eloquently put.
    Thanks fer sharing!
    Keeping you and your friends in my prayers.

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  6. OH wow, wonderful post. I'm thinking of you and your friends during this horrific time. I can't even begin to imagine what you all must be feeling...

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner
    www.mawhats4dinner.com

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  7. So beautiful. I am so very sorry for your friends' incredible loss.

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  8. I love the way you put this. Yes, church is about more than a sermon and if that's all someone (me, at dif. times, ahem) is getting out of it, then they should re-evaluate the situation and plug in or move on.

    You are a beautiful writer and a kind soul. Sending virtual hugs your way.

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  9. I feel for you and your friends. But, I can't even start to imagine how brave and strong heated they must have become to face this. God Bless them.

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  10. My dear sister in Christ, everytime I read this it takes me right back, now though along with the pain is the beautiful love I remember surrounding us every step down this long path through the journey of grief.

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