This is a synopsis of a sermon that I preached on August 1st, 2010 at Port Hardy Baptist Church.
Last week was an incredibly tough and difficult week. It was definitely one of the toughest weeks I have ever had to face. Over the week, one very important was reinforced to me:
We are not meant to and nor should we try to. There have been two ways this truth has been evident in my life this past week and I want to share them with you:
1. We need to be relying on God’s strength.
When I have felt like giving up or crawling under a rock this past week, this important truth kept coming to mind. I know that I could not have made it through this past week without God’s strength and I know that I can’t make it through the weeks to come without God’s strength.
There were a few passages of Scripture that I relied on this past week. One was Psalm 121, specifically verses 1 and 2, which says:
Our help comes from God. We need to find our strength in Him.
Another passage was 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 which says:
This passage became a source of strength for me after my dad died when I was 11. It didn’t really have any meaning to me until many years later but I have seen how God has comforted me and has used me to comfort others.
A final passage is Isaiah 40:28-31 which says:
God brought this passage to mind this morning. This is God’s promise to us. It is only as we rely on Him that we begin the healing process. We need to seek His comfort and His strength.
2. We need one another.
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 has taken on a whole new meaning to me this past week. These verses say:
Back in the Fall I was asked to speak at North Island College to the students in the Care Aid program. The class was on how the care giver needs to be taking care of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was asked to speak on how we can take care of ourselves spiritually.
Here is an excerpt of what I shared:
Community is something I am very passionate about. I believe that God created us to be in community! God never intended for us to go through life alone. In fact, after creating Adam, God said it was not good for man to be alone so He created Eve to be Adam’s partner in life. God has wired us for relationships. Sadly, many people will go through life without any community and this is very tragic. I can’t imagine going through life without community.
Then I shared some benefits of being part of a spiritual family:
Attending a church does not automatically mean that you are part of a community. It takes a commitment on our part to not just attend but to belong to a group of people. For me, that is my church. My church is the family that I belong too. They help me to stay spiritually healthy in many ways. Hare are a few:
Support and encouragement: I need people who will defend me, who will protect me, who will stand up for me when I need somebody to stand up for me, who will help me stay on track and who will warn me. I need people to watch out for me. I have a built in support network in community. When life’s “hiccups” come (and they do) I have people who are there for me. Community helps me from giving up. Community helps me to keep running the race and fighting the good fight.
I learn to love others better: I can only do this in community. Sometimes this is messy but this is part of learning to love others. Community forces me to not only look to my own interests but also to the interest of others. Community forces me to deal with conflict and tension. It teaches me to learn forgiveness – both giving it and receiving it. Community creates an environment where I can learn to love other’s well.
I am so thankful for my church family and the larger church community. We need each other! I have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from other Christians and churches. I have received numerous e-mails and phone calls and they have been such a blessing to me.
I know that we have a long journey ahead of us. Some days are going to be tougher than others. All we can do is take one step at a time as we rely on God and each other. I believe that some of those steps have already started.