A Front Row Seat
Some years ago, while part of a deeply committed small group, one of our members needed to undergo a dangerous surgical procedure to remove a mass that had formed behind his optic nerve. Not only was the procedure itself scary, but the prognosis wasn’t exactly comforting. Blindness and paralysis were among the litany of risks. And so our small group prayed. But more than praying, we each agreed to take a two hour “watch” from the moment Greg entered the hospital until a “good report” was received after surgery. From 3pm one day, and every two hours that spanned the depths of night, we took turns maintaining the watch and praying until we did, finally, get that good report. The surgery was a huge success and Greg’s recovery was certain. It wasn’t the first time nor the only time that living in community by way of a small group resulted in seeing God work so personally through a community of people, but it was certainly one of the most powerful.
A common misconception we often have regarding community life is that one meeting, one confession, one experience, or one relationship will make all the difference in us looking more like Jesus. However, the reality is that it often takes time, a lot of time, for us and others to see our transformation. Through community life, we get to see miracles like the one described above and at other times it's something like a dad who in September was unjustly angry and impatient with his kids slowly become more patient and kind by June. So much so, that the new person joining your community only sees him as nurturing versus the explosive man he had formerly been. Community life provides us with a "front row seat" to see first hand all that the Lord is doing in the lives around us. It builds our faith and feeds our desire to continue in authentic relationships obediently pursuing Jesus together.
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25
1. Who are the people in your life playing this vital role of community? Spend a moment and thank God for them individually.
2. Write down some of the benefits of belonging to a community like the one above.
3. Do you feel like you have this in your life right now? If not, what is hindering that from happening?
4. Should you not have such people in your life, ask God to help you find some as you proactively look for them.
If you do have this kind of group in your life, pray a blessing over each of them today and find a way to let them know how grateful you are to have them.