This morning my amazing husband sent me the link to a blog that points to an issue I love to get on my soapbox about! The blogger was referring to a quote from J.I. Packer regarding the difference between Puritans and Evangelicals on communion. The communion referred to is not the taking of bread and wine remembering Christ’s sacrifice, but the daily moment by moment relationship with God and His people.
It is my heart’s desire to see the people of God go deeper in their walk with Him, but also with each other! There is nothing that more energizes or excites me than to hear about how God is moving in His people — especially in the failures that force us into His arms! But we, as a people, are too strong for that. We hide our failures and show our successes. But it is in our failures, His restoration, and His growth that GOD is glorified rather than ourselves. And it is in sharing the day to day struggles that we learn and grow together.
While in college I had an amazing group of friends both in school and in my local church that were like this with and for me. Our relationships were such that it was normal to talk about what God was teaching us. And if someone wasn’t talking about the things of God, then it was standard fare to challenge that person in faith and pray with and for them. I won’t lie and say that our relationships were perfect. We were regular people, but God had given us a passion to do whatever it took to grow more in Him and we knew that these type of relationships offered encouragement, accountability, and a variety of experiences to learn from. Since leaving college, I have found it much more difficult to find these types of relationships. I was really surprised to discover that we had something pretty special there — a major thing just being time!
Once we get into adult life of jobs, marriage, and parenting, our time seems to get consumed and the time to invest in deeper relationships slips away. I am thankful for my husband and three special friends who are not only willing to go deeper with me, but want the deeper relationship. We make the time for the relationship and we are mutually vulnerable with each other about what God is teaching or has taught. Every time I meet with one of these, I leave joyful over who God is and what He does, as well as challenged to walk in greater faith. And I find that my love for them grows. I know from their conversation, that they experience the same.
I don’t expect us to share every little heartache and detail with every believer, but I do hope and long for the body of Christ to be more vulnerable with one another. Even as I write this, I know that it must begin with me. Am I willing to be vulnerable with my brothers and sisters in Christ? Sometimes I am. When I feel like I can trust a person, I will let go, but often we create that safe place for others by first being vulnerable ourselves. A little over a year ago, I shared a testimony of a work that God had done in my life with my women’s Bible study. Last night, a woman who was at that Bible study told me how, at least at her table, the conversations went deeper for a time. The ladies responded to my vulnerability by being vulnerable with one another. How I would love for God to use me again for that — drawing His people to Himself and toward each other!