Daylight saving time began this weekend; we just had a full moon; my church is currently only having night services; I have anxieties about driving at night—especially in weather elements; I’ve had a minor illness that basically sidelined me from many activities: these are all details you need to understand the following entry…
I [finally] went to church Sunday night; my first time at a service since Christmas Eve (and just to be clear—I was a regular attendee prior to the holiday). Why am I telling you this? Because I think it’s important to stress the need for church attendance and fellowship with other Christians. Truthfully, most, if not all of us could list the many reasons (excuses) we can’t/don’t/won’t attend church. I know I can (and I did list a couple up above). But do we really consider the reasons of why we should be going to church?
Church is a place where believers can come together to worship (Hebrews 12:28), hear His Word (Acts 2:42) and be encouraged (and encourage others) (Hebrews 3:13), be of service (Galatians 5:13). (Hebrews 10:25) We need each other, and consequently, others need us. (Hebrews 10:24, 1 Corinthians 12:12-29).
I can tell you that for me, I need “church”. I need the discipline. I need to fellowship (this coming from someone that isn’t too fond of people!). I need it all. For the weeks I was inactive in church, I wasn’t necessarily inactive with God. I continued to pray; I read His Word; I tried to follow Him. But… Those weeks were weary and dreary. I stopped hearing Him. I lost the desire to read my Bible habitually. My prayers were more routine than anything. My craving to continue my ministry (you haven’t read a CWC in a while, have you?) diminished. My marriage went deep into a valley. And I contracted my virus. Did these things happen because I wasn’t going to church? Maybe; maybe not. We all have spells where our studies and prayers suffer; our marriages and relationships are hard; our calling seems distant; illnesses creep in. But… I truly think that some of this was brought on because I lacked the discipline and fellowship of church. I felt like I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
I’m not saying that God worked a complete miracle in one sermon, though He could complete a miracle in less time. My Pastor joked that once daylight saving time came, and the days were longer, he expected to see me at church again. I prayed—how can I proclaim to love and trust Jesus with my life, but not my driving? And so I went to church. It was daylight for my entire drive there. The sermon was the beginning of a series on marriage; obviously a message still relevant in my life considering the valley my husband and I were climbing out of recently. I spent some time before and after service talking with fellow believers. And my drive home, at 8:30pm? Lit up like a night light guiding me home was the moon. (I love how God works; and winks.)
I’m not saying the anxieties are at bay and the stress is gone, but I will tell you I have a little more peace today than I have had in a long time. And that I can promise is because of “church”; and the faithful Witness in the sky…