"I'm thinking that the best church I ever experienced was the years when I co-led a Celebrate Recovery program. Loved those people - their honesty, their passion for Jesus, and praise, and recovery, and authenticity.
No masks, just raw, real, encouraging life together, the broken trusting God for every breath in many cases."
The best church she ever experienced was a group of those who have suffered from addictions and all the ravages it can afflict on us and those we love. The broken and defeated who have learned to turn to Jesus. Those who came to the group without a mask but instead with the real me on open display. "The broken trusting God for every breath in many cases." This comment kept surfacing today as I went about my day to day routine. Why would this group be the best church she ever experienced?
As I thought this over, it occurred to me I have felt the closest to God when I was in my most desperate moments. Heart broken, fearful, anxious, desperate, and alone--I cried out to God and He made His presence known to me. I earnestly sought God when I was the most desperate. When I had no answers, when all seemed lost, and when I no longer knew my way, I sought Him at a level like never before. And He was there. I knew the glory of the Holy Spirit interpreting the prayers I could not verbalize but only groan. When all seemed lost--God revealed His faithful comfort in a way I had been too busy and too distracted in my comfort to know before.
So when Linda was in a group of those who had known the depths of true despair, she acknowledged their total dependence upon a Sovereign God to get them through the next moment drew them together. They leaned heavily upon God--sought Him in their waking--trusted Him in their sleeping and knew the glory of true dependence upon Him for their very life. You do not walk into Celebrate Recovery when all is well with the world---you walk in when you are grasping by one finger your hold on your very life. The room is filled with desperate people who are crying out to our Great God for help. AND, He is present--and they have church.
This brought me to this question--
If I knew my knowledge of who God is could grow,
If I knew that my relationship with God could deepen,
If I knew I could experience faith to the fullest,
If I knew I could understand the only hope comes from Him,
If I knew my love for Him could be even deeper--
what would I be willing to experience? How much pain, how much heartbreak, how much sorrow would I suffer in order to know God at an even deeper level? Why in my humanness do I become complacent and satisfied with the depth of my relationship with Him? Why am I content when it could be so much more?
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.