The call came from my father-in-law right after dinner. He and Wayne’s mom had been in a car accident. He had suffered some cuts and bruises. She was with Jesus.
It was January 2004. We had been with them just two weeks earlier for Christmas when we made the 2,000 mile trek from where we lived in Alberta, Canada to their home in Louisiana. Now the distance seemed insurmountable. We would leave as quickly as possible but so many things had to be done. The first thing I did was call my friend Susan. Twenty minutes later the house began to fill up with loving members of our church family.
They began to care for us immediately. Connie spent two hours on the phone with the airline making reservations and securing the compassion fare. Steve gathered the Sunday School material so he could teach Wayne’s class. Jimmy arranged to take us to the airport. Others handled the dog, the house, and countless responsibilities we could not simply walk away from. And in the midst of all the activity there was prayer, hugs, and tears. Within hours we were ready to travel.
In Louisiana, my father-in-law encountered the same love and care from his church family. Friends went to the hospital to bring him home. Two men stayed with him throughout that first night after the accident. Some of the women made sure the beds were ready for us. By the time we arrived the kitchen and refrigerator were filled with food. No need went unmet.
In our time of grief and need, God used His people to love and care for us. He designed the church to do this very thing.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:11-12, NLT
God is not here with us physically, but He lives in every believer. God calls us to be His “ambassadors of love.” As we support, encourage, serve, and minister in His name and in His strength, we are pouring out His love to His people. (See Monday’s post, “Love Him, Love Them Not”, to learn more about the inseparable connection between our love for God and our love for His people.)
And the reverse is true as well. When we love God’s people, we show love to God Himself.
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40, NLT
We can both give and receive God’s love through a vital connection to a local church. Don’t miss out on the blessing and the love the Father wants to give you!
I would love to hear how God has shown you His love through a fellow believer. Share with us!