Two Mondays ago, I had a horrible day. I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities on my plate between full-time PhD work and working the max amount of hours that my UK visa will allow. Some weeks, the demands take a toll and I feel it more than others. We currently attend a new Vineyard church plant in Edinburgh and our group (there are two) meets in a home on Monday nights (we don’t yet have a building). It has truly been a blessing. How the Lord led us to this church is a story in itself (that for another time).
On this particular Monday, I was so stressed that I simply felt angry. Men and women most often process stress in different ways. Women tend to get depressed and men tend to get angry. This is not true across the board, but I do find that there is some merit to the notion. By the time the afternoon rolled around, I did not want to go to church. I didn’t even care about the fact that I didn’t want to go. This just wasn’t the day for it. Surely the Lord understands. Another important factor is that Tuesdays are our family grocery day. Here in Edinburgh, if you spend a certain amount online, the groceries can be delivered to your doorstep for no additional fee. Amazing, right?!
Since it was Monday and we buy so many fresh fruits and vegetables, our fridge was not exactly overflowing with food. Our meal plan for the week actually included the Monday night meal at the church, so by this time in the week, we did not have much to make a meal with. So, in a very human moment, I decided that my family and I would go to church simply because I didn’t want to go to the store and buy more groceries.
Then God proved faithful. It feels almost impossible at times to distinguish between human weakness and demonic attack. Where is the line? I definitely am no expert. However, hindsight is 20/20. The Lord met me in such a wonderful way that night that I could not help but think after everything was said and done that maybe it was the enemy trying to keep me away. First of all, a young man shared a word that God had laid on his heart regarding a man in the room. It was for me. Wow, was it for me. Secondly, our pastor showed the video, Bill Hybels – Coffee with God, and it absolutely cut through to my heart. I really hope you will take ten minutes to watch the video. The video was all about having a predetermined time and place with the Lord. Due to the load I had been feeling as of late, it had become all too easy to skip my time with the Lord for one, two, even three days at a time. If you really want to know how skipping my time with the Lord affects me, just ask my wife.
I went to church that night because of the meal that was provided. That is it. I didn’t expect anything from God. The church was in position to meet a basic need for my family that evening. So, we went. However, Daddy God is merciful, “for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:14). The older I get, the more convinced I am that people who care nothing for the church are going to miss out on so much of what God has for them (both to receive and give). I am to the point now that if a person doesn’t care much about the church, I view it as strong evidence in most cases that something is seriously flawed in that individual’s self-proclaimed relationship with Christ.
We need each other. We need others to help us touch God when we feel all-too-human. And then we need to return the favor…on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.