My husband’s grandmother, Joy Jones, passed away last week. She had been struggling with her health for some time and was ready to go home. We expected the phone call, but when death came it still took us by surprise.
Tragedy. Loss. Grief. Sorrow.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 (NLT)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
As disciples of Christ, we are promised life in and through Jesus. We are called to be a people of joy. But how can we have joy when tragedy strikes? How are we to experience life when a life has been taken from us?
Upon hearing the news, SoHills staff members offered words of comfort. They encouraged us to leave as soon as possible to be with family, assuring us they would handle things in our absence.
Our life group stepped in and took care of our dog, not knowing how long we would even be gone.
One of the All Star volunteers insisted we take her more reliable car with new tires to make the 1,200 mile journey.
Yes, we can always have joy knowing what Christ has done for us. But God has immeasurably more in mind! Because of the church, in the face of death, we experienced life giving joy.
1) Are you involved in a life group? A life group is 6 to 12 people who share a common goal of growing closer to God and do life together. My life group challenges and encourages me. If you would like to join a life group, e-mail Ronna Bush at email@example.com
2) Are you serving? The SoHills staff members are like family to me and I know they have my back. Serving bonds people together. If you aren’t serving in the church and would like to find a place to use your gifts, please leave a comment or contact any staff member.
3) Are you fostering community? You can be in a life group or serving up a storm and still not be part of a community. Give yourself a few minutes before you’re elbow deep in diapers to mingle with those you serve alongside. Contact the members of your life group between meetings. Ask questions. Get to know those around you and allow them to know you. What can you do to foster community this week?
“And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11b-12 (NLT)
When was a time you experienced joy because of the church? Share in the comments!