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?
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.