A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the last challenge! All of the focus words that you shared were inspiring! It’s so encouraging to know that we are not alone on our journey of life and faith; some amazing brothers and sisters surround us in our community.
That’s a weighty word, right? Community.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: We were designed to live in community with others. Our hearts wake up each morning longing for a connectedness that isolation cannot provide. We were all placed onto this earth with unique talents and gifts. Not just for our own use, but rather, to impact the lives of others.
You see, God invites us to:
-Carry each other’s burden’s (Galatians 6:2 NIV)
-Spur each other on to love and a life of service (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)
-Live in peace with one another (Hebrews 12:14 NIV)
-Live devoted lives to God and share life with others (Acts 2:42-47 NLT)
-Strengthen and encourage one another (Acts 14:22 NIV)
-Be kind and compassionate to one another and forgive (Eph 4:32 NIV)
It’s a wonderful thing to long for community. But friend, community doesn’t work if it’s just a longing. Community-living requires action.
Fleshing it out every single day helps us move from longing to belonging. Whether it be in our homes, our places of work, the store, a church, the street, in our neighborhoods, on the phone, across the miles, in a new location – community-living takes effort and follow-through…and in my case, some coffee helps too:).
I was blown away by the responses of those who shared their focus words with us on the last post. Words were shared with our blogging community willingly, for the benefit and inspiration of others. That act of generosity spoke volumes to me friend. I realized there are so many of us who are longing to share life with others; longing to belong to a community that asks about their hopes, dreams, and goals, and are still real enough to ask for help when life gets crazy.
Friend, are you longing for that same type of community? Me too. That’s the community I see developing right here.
I get it friend, letting new people in can be challenging. You’d think it would get easier with age and maturity. Often times, it becomes harder to reach out and connect because we’ve become so comfortable in our own isolation. I’ve been there, and often times I still find myself wandering there- especially in seasons where I am in the midst of personal change and growth.
Remember, my word for this year is “Flourish”. Friend, I know wholeheartedly that I will not be able to flourish and develop deep roots unless I am both firmly planted in The Word of God and in the community of people that He has set before me. We all need a people, a genté, a tribe, to belong to. We need each other.
Friend, You have a people who need your presence in their lives.
You have a voice that needs to be heard and a story that is worth sharing.
You have a perspective that is needed in your circles of influence.
You have a place right here.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for thinking of our every need as we journey together in this life. You crafted us and designed us with beauty and intricacy and gifts that only we are able to share in the context of community. Lord, help us to have eyes to see those around us that we can share life with. Help us to have ears to hear when You are asking us to reach out to others in faith and friendship. Lord, thank you for placing people in our lives that lovingly lead us to You. Thank You for blessing us with opportunities to let others in; to grow and mature alongside others every single day. We don’t want to live in isolation bound by fear- we choose today to live in community with others experiencing freedom. Thank You Lord, for reminding us today that we still have beautiful offerings to share with people in every arena of our lives. As we reach out and grow together, help us to continue to demonstrate the love and acceptance that You’ve so graciously, and freely given to us through the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You God for creating us for community. Amen.
Go the extra mile:
Check out this song by TobyMac. This video has some of the most beautiful and joyful imagery on what happens when we join together with others. These lyrics jumped out to me: “Oh I feel it in my heart, I feel it in my soul, that’s how I know. You take our brokenness and make us beautiful”. Friend, I love the use of “our” and “us”, because that is truly how God heals and restores lives – when we live sharing this life with others. Turn up the volume and enjoy!