Inside: encouragement to strengthen that which remains
Writing a new blog post almost feels like I’m blowing the dust off my blue ukulele (that I absolutely bought during the start of the Pandemic, don’t judge) to start practicing chords again.
And just a fair warning, this post and the ones coming in the near future will probably be extremely raw and honest. Because, as my reader, I want to be nothing but honest with you.
Deep breath. Here we go.
Let your friends guide you to the Light
Churching has been hard lately.
Like, really. hard.
It’s been hard for a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into in this post, but I will eventually. I have a feeling there are others out there that probably need to hear what I have to say, and I’m hoping you, dear reader, will find some encouragement through these posts, too.
During times like these, when it seems that you can’t be the light to someone, much less see the Light yourself, it’s helpful to have a circle of good, Christian friends you can lean on.
(I am extremely grateful for my circle of people; if you’re reading this, thank you for always being there.)
You need Christian friends that let you ask questions. Friends that will fight for you. Encourage you. And care enough to lift your name up in prayer.
You need friends that will send you links to sermons that they know will be exactly what you need to hear.
My friend, Tina, is one of those people. Earlier in the week, she sent me the sermon her pastor preached at her church concerning the Church of Sardis (you can find this in Revelation 3).
The half-dead church of Sardis
Tina’s pastor went on to preach about spiritually dead churches and the need for revival. If you’re a Bible reader, you know that the Church of Sardis was basically living on its past reputation. The Lord told them He knew of their past works, but just scooting by on what they did in the past wasn’t going to cut it in the future.
Revelation 3:2 says, “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.” (NASB)
I have been pondering this thought for a few days.
No, this post isn’t about the need for revival in our churches today.
Do we need that? Yes, yes we do. We do need a true revival.
But, this post is a little more personal than that.
The moment I started to worry
Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t see the Light because of all the fog? And no matter what you do or try to do, you just cannot get to the Light?
If you want a good, thick fog recipe, throw together discouragement, disappointment, and hurt. Then, sprinkle in a heavy dose of confusion.
Don’t even measure it, just mix it allllllll together.
I’ve been dealing with this unwanted fog for a while. Much longer than I care to admit.
If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, you know Bible study is something I did a lot. I was the one encouraging you to read the Word, pray, let go, and let Jesus guide you.
But, it got to the point (and this is when I started to really worry) I felt I couldn’t even do any of that for myself. There was no way I would be able to sit down at my laptop and try to encourage someone else to do what I couldn’t.
It felt like my prayers were being manipulated and that God wouldn’t hear me because of some “wrong” I had done. “Wrongs” that were not sins, but were treated as such.
I felt like Jesus had turned His back on me for these “wrongs” and probably would never come to my rescue ever again, must less take the time to listen to my prayers.
Believe me. I spent a lot of time just whispering, “Lord, help.” And that’s about as far as I’d get.
Jesus is our Helper
But, you know the thing about Jesus? He’s a lot more gracious, kind, and forgiving than some people make Him out to be. And He heard all those times I whispered, “Lord, please help.“
It’s been a different time (or a season, since we Christians like to call everything a ‘season’. Guilty.) compared to the nights I spent writing in my prayer journal and reading and taking notes in the Word.
Without getting into the thick of it in this post, maybe you’re sitting in the same seat I am.
Maybe you’re confused by things you’ve read or have been taught and you’re wondering exactly how it lines up with the scripture. Maybe, you’ve experienced a hurt so deeply, you don’t think you’ll ever come back from it. Or, maybe you’re carrying around a weight that isn’t yours to carry.
Strengthen the things which remain
Reader, lemme tell you something. When you get to the place where you can start to push all that stuff aside and come out of the fog: strengthen the things which remain.
Study the Word for yourself. Hold on to the things you know to be true, honest, and good. And find good, Christian friends that will encourage and support you as you lay down the things holding you back and rebuild upon the Cornerstone that remains.
You don’t have to suffocate from the fog.
But do you know the thing about fog?
The fog eventually lifts when the sun (and you know I mean, the Son) shines.
And He is always shining.