I just left the hospital visiting with someone who has been hospitalized for several days already and is looking at a while longer. We visited, we cried, we laughed, and we prayed together. I asked if there was anything else we could be doing to help. And her response caught me a little off guard. “I just want to be in church,” she said.
I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t get that response often! I assured her that she could watch us online anytime. But that’s not what she meant. She wants to be around her church family. She doesn’t want to be isolated in a sickbay room. She doesn’t want to feel sequestered from those she loves being around. She wants to be in community with her church because she realizes that it’s in community that she finds healing.
God never meant for us to go through trying times on our own. When we carry it all by ourselves, we are carrying a load that God never intended for us to have. God says we’re meant to grieve with others. Healing comes in community. Healing comes in the church.
Isolation is the worst possible choice to make when life gets overwhelming. Our tendency is to want to be by ourselves, but we need other people – their presence, their perspective, their support, their comfort, and their encouragement. To make it through a crisis, we need the people of God.
No one will argue that one person can lift more than ten people lifting together. So why do we often ignore the hands extended to help us carry our burdens, and try to bear the weight on our own? We may always bear the heaviest portion, but support and encouragement from others will significantly lighten the load.
Share each other’s burdens…
Galatians 6:2 (NLT)
It takes a…church.
Where do you need to surround yourself with God’s people? Where do you need the church?
Where do you need to surround others? Where do you need to be the church?