Grade school. As Charles Dickens said 'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ I clearly remember being on the playground with fear and trembling waiting to be picked for a team, or standing up against a wall at a grade school dance hoping to be asked to dance. There was also the wonderful and dreaded Valentine's day where everyone watched to see who received or didn’t receive cards. Just thinking about those dynamics can cause anxiety. To say it was about just being popular undermines the inner turmoil of those moments and the truth. We all want to belong, to be known, to fit in, and to be loved and cherished. 

I’ve heard it said that every human being has a longing for belonging! This is more than just a good idea, this is God's idea. It is built into our DNA. It was God himself who declared “it is not good for man to be alone” after declaring over and over again “it is good” over the things he created. Mankind was created to function together! 

There are things that can only be learned in the context of family and community. There is a nourishment of the soul of knowing you are seen and loved and will be taken care of in dark moments. But there is also the joy and beauty of knowing you can help in someone else's troubled times and that your love and simple gestures of caring can change someone’s day and life. If you have shied away from true community out of past hurts or fear of rejection, I encourage you to to take a step closer. You need to be loved and embraced just as much as we need your love and encouragement.

Life was designed to be done together. It’s better that way!  

THINK: Take a minute.

  • Take a minute and ask the Lord if you have avoided community. If you have, ask Him why that is. 

REFLECT: Quotes      

  • Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other. –David Spangler
  • If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb      
  • The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. – Coretta Scott King

ACTIVATE:   What can you do TODAY that can be a step closer to being a part of a community?   

          Ideas 

  • Reach out to someone to have a conversation over coffee
  • Text someone to let them know how much they mean to you
  • Open up to a friend about your need and struggle to get closer to others

PRAY/COMMIT: Lord, I ask you to help me embrace community once again or to step deeper into it. Would you heal me of the pain and scars of the past and give me courage to move forward.

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭16‬ ‭NLT‬‬“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”