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Have you ever had a day when the word that best describes your feelings is "Blech"?
Today, I am acutely aware of the stress that the hustle and bustle of our daily lives can bring upon us. Some days, life seems to get the better of us. I can think even now of several in our church family who are presently ill or struggling with health issues and were not able to worship with us yesterday--and I genuinely missed them.
Sometimes our most "blech" days are Sundays. Long weeks, family conflicts, strained work relationships, personal tragedy, can all seem to mount up on Sunday mornings. When Sunday is a "blech" day, it can seem logical to stay home from church to rest and recuperate, to retreat from the world. After all, people at church don't want to be around a person who is emotionally down and discouraged, right? Wrong.
Brothers and sisters, I want us to remember that our church family and our weekly time of corporate worship is not to show one another, or even to show God, how well we've got it all together. Quite the opposite, our Sunday worship is a time for us to say together, "We can't do life in a fallen world alone. We need God's help, and we need one another."
Dear friends, it is OK to not be OK on Sunday mornings. It is good and right to bring your burdened soul to worship--because as we gather and share our weaknesses and our mutual dependence on Jesus, there is opportunity to be lifted up as we share in the weight that our brothers and sisters carry.
One of the hardest things we can do is sing songs of the Gospel and listen to a sermon on the faithfulness of God when it feels like God is far from us. Know this, corporate worship won't fix all your problems, but worshiping even when it hurts reminds us of who God still is, that Christ is still King, and that God has not left us.
Church family, our God is faithful, even in our darkest days. I am encouraged often by Exodus 2:23-25: "During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel--and God knew." It is hard to be faithful when our circumstances seem insurmountable. But, dear friend, God is always faithful to hear you, remember you, see you and know you even in your darkest days. So be encouraged to fight for faithfulness to God, especially when it hurts, knowing that He hears and sees and knows you, and wants to work in you as you worship Him with your church family.
Friends, if I can pray specifically for you this week or minister to you through a present hardship, I want to be able to help carry those burdens. Please let me know of your needs and how I can walk with you through them. I do so love you all--and can't wait to worship with you this coming Lord's Day.
Grace and Peace,