I had the priviledge of being at a wedding yesterday. My wife’s cousin married his fiancee and they have begun a journey that will change their lives forever.
It put me in mind of the changes that I’ve seen in the last ten years I’ve been with my wife, courting for a year, and married for a little over nine now.
I wouldn’t change my decision to ask her for anything. It’s not been the easiest option, but I’d not want to be anywhere else.
Together we’ve walked this amazing journey that has seen us encounter joy and pain, loss and heartache, happiness and tragedy. Most of all, however, we’ve lived with Hope, Love and Faith as our companions.
We’ve walked through fire – life-threatening illness for both of us – still an ongoing battle – financial prosperity and crushing loss from medical bills. Through it all, Jesus has supported us. The support has come in many forms from many places externally, but through it all there has been a constant theme within the relationship.
Not once have we both hit bottom at the same time. God has aways given one of us the strength to lift the other – even when we couldn’t see it until later.
It’s 18 months since our lives really changed forever in a way I won’t go into now, but in that time He’s brought new friends into our life together who have themselves experienced hardships. We’ve been able to live as a true fellowship.
There’s a unity between us. We are united not by our troubles, but by our Hope. Not by the hardships, but by Faith. Not by the bitterness of the past, but by Love carrying us forwards.
The writer to the Hebrews says not to abandon the gathering of the believers. More and more recently I’ve realised that isn’t necessarily a denominational church as such, but rather getting together and sharing our lives on an intimate level with a few close friends.
I’ve not been a regular attendee of a denominational church since I left Torquay in 2003. I’ve not given up meeting with believers though. Family and friends who are born-again who we share our Faith with, teaching one another and sharing testimony.
I went to a few denominational churches over the last few years. Even a few house groups. Good people in them, but I felt superfluous. I wasn’t necessary to the life of the organisation. It seems to me that the church isn’t meant to be an organisation as much as it is an organism. An organisation will continue if parts are missing without change or noticing. Cut a piece off an organism and it stops functioning the way it was designed to.
My fellowship is small right now, but I know the people in it intimately and I trust them enough to let them know me. There’s a unity between us. It defines us. There’s no mystery in it.