The Family of God

The Family of God

It’s been a while since I’ve written about our ministry at the rehabilitation hospital where my husband and I hold a church service one Sunday a month, and I go by myself and sing for them one Thursday a month. My heart continues to fill with gratitude for the opportunity to share God’s love with the beautiful people who stay there. It is a place of truest fellowship.

Like almost everyone, I have many hats to wear, and it can be overwhelming!

After writing and publishing my first novel in February, I have had endless tasks I’m supposed to do to promote the book and establish myself as an author. Let me tell you, it isn’t a little overwhelming. I’ve attempted a number of tries to increase my “success”. Ugh, just the sound of that word makes me get nervous, dreadful butterflies. All of the profiles I’m supposed to adjust or create, researching the keywords that are supposed to make all the difference in getting noticed on Amazon, transitioning my blog to an author’s website – it is not profitable for my mental (and spiritual) health to work so hard to complete all of these things. It throws off my “economy” of what matters and causes a disturbing discontent when it doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. I start to aim for the wrong type of satisfaction – worldly instead of eternal. It’s not that I can’t keep striving to figure it all out, but the cost is too high for me when I let it matter too much. How badly do I want sales and recognition and prestige? Well, thank God, not badly enough! (I’m quite sure that sharing these things on my website as an “author” is exactly what I’m not supposed to do.) lol!

My husband and I (well, mostly me except for our new deck) have been so hard at work making a new yard out of what was a decades’ old neglected disaster. Phew!

Then there are the home beautifying projects that consume a lot of my time, though I enjoy them immensely! Something is always begging for me to bring some creative adjustment to it.

In all these things, and more, that vie for my time and energy, I am always set right-side-up again when it comes time for our ministry twice a month.

I’ve tried to describe it, but I am so moved each time it happens, I don’t think I can do it justice. I’m talking about the feeling of belonging to the eternal family of God.

There are some in attendance who aren’t believers. Just recently (and this has happened a few times in the last 7 years) as soon as I started to sing about Jesus, a resident and her family member were visibly irritated and soon left. It’s distracting when that happens. More than that, it’s upsetting to feel and witness a rejection of the message of God’s love for them. It makes you wonder about the hardened heart and how it got to be that way. If they would only stay long enough to hear that God loves them with a love like no other.

From some throughout the years, there have been guarded responses that have turned to joy after trust is established and the Gospel is shared. I have no idea who has put their faith in Jesus as God has led us to share His hope through music and the Bible. I pray there have been some. I tell them often that God put His love in my heart for them, and from what I can tell, they believe my heartfelt declaration.

The most awesome thing is when the residents – with all sorts of physical limitations – who are believers worship together with us. It is a heavenly experience when the presence of God is in and around our gathering. I have broken down in tears. We have had such sweet times of worship give us just a glimpse of how Heaven will be. I’ve described it as the feeling of being in a spiritual bubble of protection and glory, joined together with otherwise strangers or friends we never would have met, but in the kingdom of God – brothers and sisters. We are singing about, talking about, praying to the One True God, and He is in our midst.

I get emotional when understanding a sliver of God’s goodness to us. I so often fail to recognize Him. Forgive me, Lord. He has given us each other, brothers and sisters in Christ, to love one another, to carry each other’s burdens, to worship our Father together. It is tough down here on Earth, this temporary home, but part of His provision for us is one another.

You might have guessed what my message was on this last Sunday – yes! – The Family of God. I even pulled out the old Gaither hymn “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God…” I had to relearn it since it had been so many years since I’d sung it in church with many who have gone on to be with Jesus, who I will worship with again someday. It was something ordered and timely and though it didn’t go off without a hitch, it was PERFECT and glorious! I’ll share the two verses:

You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here,
It's because we're a family and these folks are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King, 
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, 
But PRAISE GOD! I belong!

What a gift He has given to us!

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! 
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. Psalm 133:1-3

I am so grateful for all the encouragement and positive feedback I have received for my book! Every single person who reached out to me was an uplifting and heartfelt blessing. Thank you so much.

Though I will still be tempted to find fulfillment in the non-eternal sparkles of this world (not all bad, just bad for me when it gets out of balance), no ounce of affirmation, accolade or goal reached will ever come close to those eternal blessings. I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God!

The Family of God

This Is the Day the LORD Has Made


4 thoughts on “The Family of God

  1. Oh, wow, Debi!! That was beautifully written and filled me up to think of what a wonderful “family” we belong to. I am so glad to be a part of the family of God. Keep on singing, writing, working on projects, and loving God and loving people. All that makes you who you are. I love you.

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