Thursday, September 26, 2013

what makes us a spiritual family

I sat on my sofa with a dear friend, a sister in Christ, a fellow co-laborer in the gospel. We talked about spiritual family.

The atmosphere of my living room felt hushed and holy.

I told her what I know about spiritual family after nineteen years of following Christ. After nineteen years of church life, of being misunderstood by people who loved me, after losing people whom I had come to love like my own family, after holding close to my heart relationships that began on Sundays but blossomed through all the seasons of life, I have learned something about being a family.

Spiritual family is first built upon our trust in the intentions of the people we treasure as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Because really, if I can't trust that you intend to love me and care for me, even if I feel wounded by your careless words or when I am forgotten in the hustle and bustle of your own life, then there is little hope for us to make it in this crazy world of sin.

Trust turns churches into a beautiful family called the Church.

Which is why it is so painful when trust is breached, and when poor character burns bridges and extinguishes the Spirit of God in the lives around a person.

God, though, is fully capable of restoring a charred family and turning even the ugliest ashes of betrayal into a garden of thriving trust again.

After all, Jesus called us His family, and family is what we are meant to be.

So, when a person's intentions fall short, and their actions mar my own life, I must trust my sovereign God's intentions to save me from my distress, and restore us into a loving family again someday.

"Both the One who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,

'I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.'

And again,

'I will put my trust in Him.'" - Hebrews 2:11-13

God has a vested interest in the Church. We are His family, and He longs for us to love one another, to have mercy for the weaknesses of others, to humbly repent when we sin against one another, to proclaim our loyalty when storms rage, to believe in His holy power to restore what sin tries to take from us.

When I think of the a glorious sound our names make together in Jesus' roll call of brothers and sisters, I feel only gratitude that we are in this thing together, for all eternity.

For God who makes us holy, and we who are being made holy are of one family. I trust He will see us through, no matter what....

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