Long Distance Community

Visiting non-believing family can be difficult, but that's what community is for.

Recently, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine from our church--New Life. We both have families that live "far" away and were comparing notes on some of the struggles that we face when we return to home. We mutually related that we both leave our comfy, cozy, New Life environment feeling prayerfully prepared for the adventure that "going home" might produce. We remind ourselves of who we are in Christ, have all of our "spiritual ducks" in a row, create possible scenarios in our minds of how we can explain the changes that have taken place in our lives. We depart for our homes with confidence, knowing that we could successfully share what God is doing in our lives and positively influence those that are on the receiving end of such wonderful news. What mysterious transformation takes place when you cross the state line that could cause you to stumble and struggle with recognizing who you are in Christ? Everyone knows that God does not just reside in the state of Ohio. Clearly, God is not limited by geographical boundaries that were set by men so many years ago.

Why is it so difficult to thrive spiritually when I am visiting with family? Is it the geographical distance that limits our relationship? Is it the different life-styles and life-paces that we each experience? Those issues may contribute to our struggle to connect spiritually, but after 13 years of living away from family (and leaving them as an unbeliever), I think God put a high watt light bulb in my brain recently to help me to understand part of the missing piece. It all boils down to the word "community."

I have realized that the one "creature comfort" that I am without is "community." I am referring to that band of believers that walks hand in hand ...

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