In Thanks For The Fellowship Of The Saints
The other day was a lot like most of my days of late…miserable.
I’ve been taking narcotic pain killers for four months and they no longer kill much pain.
Sitting down or laying down is painless, but walking more than a few feet is agony.
Still, I have responsibilities that require walking…I have to prepare all my mom’s meals, turn the TV on for her, clean up after her, and do myriad other chores she can no longer do as dementia robs her of common utility, but spares her life for the moment.
On this day in question, there had been many messes…some I could handle some I couldn’t. The folks I count on to help me as best they can were encountering their own problems…and while I couldn’t do much physically, they at least needed my emotional and spiritual support.
Oh and…my insurance was changing to Medicare and if you’ve had to deal with any government agency lately, you know that crippling sciatica is almost preferable…
On top of that I had to go to the post office…I don’t get mail at my physical address so I try to get there a couple times a week. Sometimes I can send my godson, but he was having his own challenges.
I was drowning…
My last trip in to the post office found me sitting on the floor as the walk in to the building had left me in too much pain to stand.
This time, I made it in and back out to the car without embarrassing myself.
Among all the junk mail and bills was a card from cherished friends…they have provided every kind of support possible from a distance for years and years.
Inside the card… in beautiful handwriting… was a verse…
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
(Isaiah 43:2 NLT-SE)
“When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.”
I had something in my eyes for a few minutes…and the will to keep swimming.
I have made my mark in the world by speaking to the ills of the church and trying to defend God’s people from the wolves that make her their unrighteous habitation.
Sometimes I make it sound as if there are nothing but wolves involved in the church, period.
Today I want to speak to “the rest of the story”.
Through all the challenges I’ve faced over the years, God’s people have been there for me.
My local church…the one I pastor…has done all they could for over 30 years now.
My friends, those I know personally…have been a gift of immeasurable worth.
I have friends all over the world that I’ve never met…that have supported me in prayer and friendship… with words of encouragement and financial support.
I believe that prayer is simply telling God that someone you care about…someone you love, someone who matters…needs Him
I have lots of scars from wolf bites…but I’ve also been extravagantly loved by people that follow Jesus.
Some of you reading are no doubt among that group that at one time or another told Jesus I matter.
Thank you…I thank God for you.
I thank God for the fellowship of the saints…for the church that knows no building or borders…for that remnant that keeps swimming when the current is against them…that reaches out to help others who are too weary to try.
I look forward to meeting you all on that Day when all will be well…