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The fellowship of God shines in the darkest moments of my days

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus, my friends! The sun has finally peeked through the dark, gloomy rain clouds, and so, we rejoice, don’t we? I can only speak for myself, but when the darkness lingers for too long, my spirit no longer shines like the sun I’m craving — and then, I miss the Son I’m craving.

I’ve been so very blessed in recent weeks as I’ve had the company of several precious sisters in Christ. As we’ve gathered week after week to slay giants and see some victory in our lives, the fellowship of the family of God so often shines in the darkest moments of my days. The courage to keep on in our walk with the Lord is solidified when I recall the life lessons we have shared with one another. There is nothing quite as precious, nor as sacred as sisters in Christ sharing hearts and praying for one another. I have been truly blessed beyond measure.

In the simple things of life on the farm everyday, I see strong bonds, too. One of my favorite pastimes, if ever there’s a moment for that, is to watch the cows with their newborns. After birth, it may take a few days before the calf is strong enough to keep up with mom and so she keeps her calf away from the rest of the herd until that little calf can stick close by mom’s side for protection. Wobbly on their feet at first, and sometimes not able to figure it out, mom stays there, strong and steady. The calf is protected . There’s nothing quite so beautiful as watching the tenderness between the two of them soon after birth. Mom licks her calf often, and the bond begins. It’s not too many days though, until the once frail calf is running with the herd, frolicking with all the other new calves, and it’s one big happy family. She feels safe, loved, cared for. And this is the security we find in our faith family. God planned it that way.

As we’re nearing the end of our giant slaying (studying “Goliath Must Fall,” by Louis Giglio), we’ve learned so much about ourselves we were previously unaware of. We know now why we do the things we do and react the way we do. It usually boils down to some form of anger that is rooted in rejection. We fear being rejected, so we pull away from others. If we aren’t careful to see what is happening, the cycle continues and anger becomes our default mode. We don’t feel loved or safe, so we turn to some form of comfort that we become addicted to. All the while, our Father stands close by, just waiting for us to run into His loving arms of comfort and safely….just like that little calf runs to mama.

May I gently ask you, what is your go to? What is your addiction? Nothing, you say? What do you run to for comfort when life gets dark and dreary? If it is anything other than the arms of Jesus, it may be an unhealthy addiction. Our phones — how crucial they’ve become to every moment, almost, of every day. What about shopping? Do you need a trip to Walmart to make you feel better? My fix would be our local Christian bookstore. Just one more book, that’s what I need. That will ease the pain, bring clarity into the situation, or show me the next move, for sure. Listen, friend, we’ve all got our ways of finding what our hearts are longing for, but each and every way we turn will fail, unless we have looked to Jesus. He, and He alone, is the source of Help and Healing. He is the only true Comforter, the only true Shelter from the storms of life. Too often, we tell ourselves that the things we crave are not really so bad. After all, we’re not alcoholics, we aren’t drug users.

The enemy of our soul loves when he can distract us in this way. He offers anything that he knows will entice us and draw us away from the Lord. Most of our battles are fought and won or lost within our minds, aren’t they? And now, we have come full circle…we need each other in the body of Christ. We need one another to have another in the family hold us up when we are too weak. We need each other to be accountable to, to keep us steady in our faith walk. We need one another to pray us through to victory…Giants don’t go down easy, but when they are fought in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they MUST FALL! How wonderful to be part of a group of sisters who know and love Jesus, pray for one another, admonish each other, and remind us that we are daughters of the Most High King of Kings. We are dearly loved and deeply treasured. We are precious in His sight.

Finally, with the support of our sisters in Christ, we admit that without Jesus, we are nothing and nothing lasting can come of all of our trying. Psalm 23:1 (NLT) says: The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all I need. …Jesus is enough for all we face. He is able to bring us through the battles. He is all we need. Period. We could have skipped this study of “Goliath Must Fall”. We could have simply said, The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all I need. We could have left it there. Then again, we would have missed the sacred sister times, meeting around the Word of God, loving on each other, praying for one another. We would have missed all the good food, all the sharing of our hearts, and we surely wouldn’t have know the sweet taste of victory…victory in Jesus. The. Lord. Is. My. Shepherd. I. Have. All. I. Need.

One recent night, as I lay wide awake several hours after going to bed, the Lord impressed Psalm 16:8 on my heart. I repeated it back to Him. “I set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” On that particular night, it was exactly what I needed to hear, as my heart was heavy for a loved one. God sees all. He knows. He cares. He sends what we need, so often just when we need it. I lay there in bed and smiled myself to sleep. I slept like a baby, safe in my Father’s arms…that calf, safely curled around its mama’s warm body. The body of Christ. We need each other. In the end, we need only “let go and let God” to find victory for battles we face, but it’s so like my loving heavenly Father, to bless me with precious sisters to remind me. I, too, am a daughter of the King. I, too, am dearly loved and deeply treasured. Do you know you are, as well? Who told you recently? My sisters in Jesus, a gift that nurtures me in my broken places. Thank You, Jesus! Thank You!

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