Words to Cheer Your Heart
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Joy of Community
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 ESV
As an extreme introvert, I’m discovering that the modern world makes it simpler than ever to indulge my tendency to be a hermit. Between no-cost, overnight shipping of everything from books to produce and restaurants that deliver, I could easily never leave the house. Many of my friends feel the same way, and we often talk about this over social media. There are even ways to worship and do small group Bible studies online.
But recently I visited my home church, and my joy in seeing—and hugging!—old friends overwhelmed me. I only moved away a few months ago, but even in that short time, I felt lost without a church family. Worshipping together, sharing our faith, and singing old hymns made me miss that community of believers more than ever.
While it’s possible to worship God and feel His presence when we are alone—and we need to spend time alone with the Lord—as believers, we also benefit from being in the physical presence of other Christians. Throughout Scripture, we’re instructed to gather together, lift each other up, and bear each other’s burdens (see Hebrews 10:25). Seeing faces lit with joy, feeling reassuring touches, and raising our voices together in song is all part of serving Christ.
Spending time alone with God is vital to our spirits. But so is taking joy of spending time with other people who worship Him. The joy of community will refresh your soul.
Lord, we praise You with voices joined in worship. We love You and thank you for showing us how to be together in You. Amen.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
He will give his people strength. He will bless them with peace.
Psalm 29:11 TLB
God and the Hair Dryer
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
3 John 2 ESV
I never thought I could find God under a hair dryer, but I did. And I needed to.
I’d had one of those weeks when I’d said, “Yes!” to far too many projects, too many game practices, and too many errands. Exhausted and grouchy, the quality of my work had faltered, and I’d snapped at one of my best friends over the phone. Later, I prepared to apologize when she called to tell me she’d made a hair appointment for me. I was stunned. “You’re exhausted,” she explained. “Go take care of yourself.”
Instead of pushing on with work and other duties, I listened. My hair reacts badly to being blown dry, so after two hours of being pampered, my stylist put me under a stationary hair dryer. The heat relaxed me, and my mind and spirit felt rejuvenated. I reached out, and in the isolation of that dryer, I began to pray, feeling God’s closeness and reassurance.
When we focus on caring and doing for others, we can easily forget ourselves. Yet God never meant for us to work until we were drained of energy and enthusiasm—not even for Him. God cares tenderly for all of us, and we better serve His kingdom when we are at our best.
Lord, guide us as we work for You and our families, and help us remember to seek rest and renewal along the journey. Amen.
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
Proverbs 14:30 ESV