Sweet, sweet fellowship

DSCN0596.1Sunday is my favorite day of the week. Hands down, it is my favorite day. What better way to spend a day than in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ as we revel in our relationship with God and in the joy of companionship with His followers? What a privilege!

As we got closer to the moving date last year and early this year, I feared that we’d move out here into the middle of our 800 family acres and suddenly be lost from fellowship and friendship. What a petty and faithless fear! I read a quote recently that said “Worry is the worship of circumstance.” How profound. For a Christian to give in to worry is for a Christian to momentarily believe that a circumstance is stronger than God Himself. What a pathetic witness and a waste and misuse of energy. But worry I did. Yet God was gracious, and as I learned to trust Him more, He has provided against that fear in so many ways.

DSCN0576.1He has provided us with a wonderful church home, a welcoming body of Believers who are a living example of the sweetness of the Saints, and He has provided us with friends with whom my sisters and I can share meaningful friendships. Leaving Illinois and the friendships we’d developed over the years was hard–It is hard to leave friends behind, friends who have invested in your life and whose life you have invested in. Separation hurts. But God knows. He knows and He provides.

DSCN0577.1In church for the past few months, we’ve been studying through the Olivet Discourse, the last group of teachings of Christ before His crucifixion. The passage we studied today was Matthew 25: 31-46, in which Jesus talks about love among Believers, ministering to the “least of these”, and we talked about what genuine love looks like. Genuine love for one another is a direct result, a fruit, of our love for Jesus Christ. Then, as our love for Jesus grows, our love for the Saints will also grow. And as our love for the Saints and our love for Christ grows, we become easier to love. A dynamic, thriving church is a church where love for Christ is causing radical, otherwordly love for one another, a love that spans class differences, racial differences, cultural differences, temperament, personality, interests, education…A love that defies everything that “pop culture” calls love.  What a life-changing, culture-changing, overwhelming thought. We get to experience here a little piece of Heaven, a glimpse, a mere glimpse of what perfect fellowship will look like on the other side of death.

DSCN0579.1All that is to say, God has provided wonderfully for us in our new life here in the Black Hills. I wish I could personally share some of these adventures and experiences with friends back in Illinois–You are missed, and greatly. But I am in awe (why should I be surprised when an awesome God does wonderful things?) of how He has provided. Today after church, a bunch of us were going to go hiking. It ended up just being me and Sarah, and two of our friends, Hannah and Jacob, but we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon in God’s creation, a hike up to Lover’s Leap, and a lovely view of the Black Hills. We reveled in a fellowship that only our mutual love of Christ could make as sweet as it is. What a sweet, sweet fellowship. What a great, great God.

Laura Elizabeth

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