How I Got Through Seizures, Car Wrecks, And Newborn Babies

3 min read

On August 17, 2003, my three-year-old son had nine seizures.

During the weeklong, test-filled stay in the hospital, we were showered with love and support from our friends. They filled our refrigerator and cut our grass. They prayed with us, and we laughed and cried together.

Shortly after, on October 10, my wife’s aunt died in a car accident. She was particularly close to her aunt, and we were devastated. Our friends were there.

Only two weeks later, our second child was born. We celebrated even though we were physically and emotionally tired. Our friends were right there with us.

When God Is Present

One of God’s names is Jehovah Shammah (Ezekiel 48:35). Translated, it means “the God who is there.” God is always with us. Whenever we celebrate wins or experience defeat, He is present. He has stamped His image on us, and we are here to encourage and help one another (Romans 15:5-7).

That’s what community is all about. Your friends pray for you. They celebrate birthdays with you. They eat lots of food with you. They lift you up in bad times and help you through tough times, but most importantly, they are there. They are present.

I’ve been in lots of groups and met lots of people at church. Some of those people became great friends, some didn’t. But in each case, in each group, the common denominator is that those people were there for my wife and me (Proverbs 17:17). They became our people, our community.

Despite the fact that many of our friends are now in different groups or went on to start a new community of friends, we know that there is still a larger network of people there for us. Hank, Teresa, Jennifer, Sandra, Daryll, Leland, Rob, Jana, Linda, Wendy, Mandy, Greg, Chuck, Deborah, Margaret, David, Ivan, Janet, Bernie, Renee, Steve, John, Bill, Lee, Traci—those may be random names to you, but to me, those are people with whom I have shared life. They’re my community and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

A community lifts you up in bad times and helps you through tough times, but most importantly, they are there.

Who’s With You?

So, who do you have in your life who is there for you—really there?

If you’re not already connected to a few friends who challenge and encourage you, consider what your life could be like if you did. When you’re in community, you realize what it means to have someone’s back and they have yours. In the good moments and bad, we can be there for each other.

The way you connect with people around you impacts the way others impact those around them. None of us can do it alone, but together we can be the church that cares about people.

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