The past three weeks have been a whirlwind for my husband and me. We were already overwhelmed with unfamiliar things, and then life was interrupted. Chip’s dad became ill and it was a roller coaster of ups and downs. A mission trip was aborted, life altering decisions were made, and there were multiple trips to San Angelo. The love of our family kept us coasting, but even so, something was missing. It wasn’t until the night of visitation that we realized what it was – time with our friends back home. We looked up to see the familiar faces of our friends from Alsbury.
Even though they only stayed ten minutes they reminded us that love places no limits on time or location. You see, they had driven eight hours round trip and spent forty-five minutes in line to love on us for ten minutes! There is no greater sacrificial love than this. Their visit brought us so much joy and comfort during our time of grief.
Connection with the body of Christ, the local church, teaches us to do more than just believe in him. It’s where we learn to love, live, serve, and think like Christ. When we connect and engage with others we learn how to “leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1). When we take the first steps of commitment to the body of Christ, the beauty of Christ reveals itself more. Joshua Kang reminds us in his book, Deep Rooted in Christ, “We must invest time and energy to build a solid foundation.”
Maturing in Christ doesn’t happen overnight or right when you join a church. It requires a life-long commitment to study, fellowship, prayer, and reflection.
That ten minutes spent with our friends is a fragment of the impact they’ve had on our lives. We continue to serve together, share life together, learn from each other, admonish each other, and live life to the fullest in Christ together. The beauty of that ten minutes was that Christ showed himself to us through our friends. May God bring us all a desire for a deeper, more committed, connection with Christ and each other, “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:10.