Community is Good Medicine, Part 2
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first today until now.
One of God’s gifts to His people is the local church family. He keeps many of His promises through His people. Our church family walked the pathway of grief with us in ways we didn’t know we needed. They became God’s hugs, shoulders to cry on, His hands that cared for our physical needs and handed us tissues when we didn’t realize that tears covered our cheeks. I imagine God whispering to one of His children, “Sharon thinks I’ve abandoned her. You be my arms and hug her. You be my heart and love her. You be my hands and serve her.” Each one was a treasure of encouragement that helped turn my heart toward Him and cultivated a strong community. We need to be willing to accept the encouragement and help of others. In time, I wanted to offer others this encouragement that had been given to me. Know that one day, you can encourage another hurting person in a way that will equip them to offer that same help and hope to someone else.
Are you feeling blue today? Perhaps the missing treatment in your heart’s medicine cabinet is connection with a trusted friend. Or, maybe it’s time to offer to another friend encouragement that helps turn their heart toward Jesus. We’ve asked who is in your village. One of the answers needs to be your local church body. Do you have a church family, a community that you can depend on for when you are hurting, a place you receive guidance and encouragement? The time you spend with this community cultivates relationships that will equip you for the one anothering that each one of us needs. Such one anothering encourages new life, deepens our love for one another and encourages us to pass on that love to others.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the Suicide and Mental Illness audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Suicide is a broad and deep issue that has many different contexts. Sometimes mental illness plays a role in suicide, but not always. In this transparent conversation, Jonathan’s parents share their son’s story of mental illness that didn’t show itself until he was in college.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at email@example.com.