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Friday, December 18, 2009

Community


For what seems like the millionth time, I click "favorites" and check Facebook or this blog or my email. I just checked a few minutes ago...I'm sure nothing has changed...yet, I need to look again.

What am I doing....what am I looking for?
In all these various checks, what am I longing for?
Friendship? I have friends.
Information? I have Google.
Inspiration? I have the Bible, art, nature, music, & books.
God? I have God.
Since I was 7, I've "had" God or more significantly He's had me.
But knowing God, having God, doesn't mean the end of longing.
In fact, I think it means the beginning of longing...true, deep, passionate, yearning for more of the One True God.
And the more He gives, the more I realize I lack and the more I want. Frustration sets in as it seems like God gets more & more elusive the closer I get to Him...but that's another topic...

So, back to my incessant need for meaningful human contact, even if it's via electronics... I realized this morning as I kept checking my various modes of communication, that I am searching for God: searching for Him, longing for His love and His words to me, through His people.

Last week I read Romans 12...verses 4 & 5 say Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We are the body of Christ.
We are the hands and feet of Christ-a familiar enough phrase- but have you stopped to think of what you're saying and what that means?
It means you're desperately needed. Not just by the world, but by other Christians (Galatians 6:9).

A few weeks ago, a lovely couple visited our church. She's an occasional customer of mine, so of course I visited with her & her husband after the service. They loved it. And I know her well enough to know, they genuinely loved it. They felt at ease & at home with our informality and the spirit of community we have.
But they didn't come back.
Talking with a mutual friend, I realized that they (the couple) saw the need for community when they were hurting; when they needed something. But they didn't see how valuable they were to someone else's community. When have I done that? Underestimated what God wanted me to be to a certain group of people? Underestimated His presence in me and how it ministered to others?
We think we're being humble by deflecting praise or denying our worth, but we're actually being selfish...withholding something we're made to give.
"...we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
You, dear reader, are needed.
There are things God has planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11, a beautiful passage, is quoted so often: "For I know the plans I have for you , declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future."
But how does He prosper you and give you hope and help you realize your future? Many times, it's through others. Yes, He wants to bless you and prosper you, but He wants to bless and minister and provide for someone else also and through you.
Someone in your life needs what you have to offer.

8 comments:

Annesta said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am sitting here doing exactly what you do..checking and clicking...looking and searching...
I need to get up and get ready for a breakfast date with a girlfriend who is a long time friend. I have prayed for her for over 20 years to come to know Christ as I know Him. Today, I am weary...a bit sad...was thinking of canceling and just staying home. What would I do here at home...more clicks...more checking.
No, I am going to pull myself up. I am going to fix myself up and head to our favorite breakfast place and share community with my long time friend.
Thank you for sharing your heart.

Miriam said...

Patty, my dear friend, you are one that I need--I too do a lot of clicking and checking...out of my need for the body of Christ. Thanks for being a part of that body to me.

janelle said...

Patty,

Ditto, I do a lot checking too. I waste so much time on the things that don't matter.

Thank you for the beautiful post and the beautiful reminder Patty.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.— 2 Corinthians 4:17

Annesta said...

Thank you for praying for me! My heart is touched by your kindness.
The breakfast went well. After breakfast, I came home and rested...prayed, meditated and wrote some thoughts.
Grace and peace to you.

Annesta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Godfredsen said...

Yes, indeed. It is humbling that God would work this way, isn't it? That he would take our lives, our experiences, and make use of them to bring Him glory?

Praising him for your giftedness, your heart and this post!

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Oh Patty, Once again your insights touch deep places.

God speaks through you, and I'm touched.

Today, I consider that couple -- and others like them who need community (don't we all?), but they don't see how their community needs them, too. Such profound thoughts, Patty.

I'm so grateful for you.

Annie said...

Patti, I loved this post.It resonated with me. I too was talking with the Lord tonight and asking Him how I could love Him more...and why He loves me so much. In my head I know the Bible says "we love Him because He first loved us" but like you, I want to be closer. I asked Him tonight how to love Him more. I'll share what He shows me, but as I type this I see He has an original answer for each of us. Bless you sister, thank you for your heart for Jesus.