Friday, February 14, 2014

I will never forget it...

I experienced something last week while visiting the first church we attended as a married couple... I have been left thinking on and mulling over this precious experience days and days later...

Prior to the service we were visiting with so many precious friends... Hugs from old friends...joy... love... friends... Such special people...

When Greg and I sat down in the church service, he leaned over to let me know that he had just found out a friend there  had recently been diagnosed with cancer... My heart hurt for them... I remember that feeling, that pit in my stomach when Greg was diagnosed... I still remember the conversation with Greg's parents like it was yesterday... even though in reality it has been just over 22 years...  Wow... praise God for His healing power...

Here is what sticks with me... I don't think I will likely EVER forget it...

During the prayer time, one of the pastors briefly described this friends new diagnosis of cancer and asked that he and his wife come forward as well as some others needing prayer... He also offered anyone the opportunity to come up to the rail for prayer whether it was for a specific need or to share a praise over a particular joy or victory that God had blessed them with.  Anyone was welcome...

These are the words that were spoken... "Here at _______  Church you don't EVER have to be alone!!!  _______ family come forward, lay your hands on these friends and share their burden.  You NEVER EVER have to go through a trial alone in this place... We are here for you..."


Even before the words were uttered the church family (yes, that is what it truly is there:) was surrounding all those that had come forward... I am not exaggerating by saying that there were probably 100 members up in front praying over the joys and needs of these people.  My heart was bursting with joy in seeing these people step up and be the body of Christ, His hands and feet to these hurting or rejoicing people...  I immediately was thinking... no they won't be alone... Now that all of those people had been praying for those needs... they will want to check on those who were hurting and needing healing... they will continue to pray... they may even make a meal... the ripples that will occur will be all be a part of this body of believers being Jesus in the flesh... I love it!

Have you ever gone through a trial, difficulty, illness, death of a family member alone?  I have...

There is something about grieving a dearly loved life that shatters your heart... but there is something about going through that without the body of believers surrounding you, that multiply that pain... That make the shards of your broken heart cut deeper... That isn't how God intended it to be... How it must break our Father's heart...

I don't even want to focus on what I was missing in the months following Samuel's death,  My heart has truly forgiven fully and in that  moment at that church last Sunday I was only fully rejoicing in God's amazing work in that church... 

I distinctly remember visiting a family members church 4 months after Samuel's death, probably during some of my most despairing times... I went to a prayer and praise night... I only knew one other person in the room besides my brother... yet that church family, while not my own... took me in and surrounded me with the love, care, and support that I so desperately needed... It was like a healing balm to my broken heart...

I know that cultivating a church that cares like that, that gives so freely of themselves to love, care for, and support those in great trial is not an easy task... After the service, I loved sharing with the previous pastor of this church, that my heart was bursting to see this church functioning as it was.  Clearly the Holy Spirit has done a mighty work in that place and that previous pastor (who we love), as well as the current pastor (who we love dearly as well:) were and are still are willingly following the spirit's leading... I love it!  It takes a willing and open heart of the leader as well as an openness in the hearts of the people they shepherd.

Friends, let me challenge you... to put aside your worries, fears, pride... whatever it might be, to step out of your comfort zone and be all that God intended you to be when you see others hurting or in need...  Really what are we afraid of??  Do not allow those you love or even those you hardly know at all, to go through a trial alone... Share that burden that so desperately needs sharing...



2 comments:

Kim Nyquist said...

This hits so close to my heart Sara. Thank you for capturing my heart, prayers, tears and wishes!

Kim Nyquist said...

I love this post! This captures my heart, sadness, feelings, and wishes! Thank you.