originally written in 2009 for All Saints Church
Have you ever had a time where you feel like you are under constant attack? It seems like you get through one bad circumstance only to be slammed with another one. You get so busy dealing with the fall-out from the circumstance that you don’t really seem to have time to spend with the Lord or others. Your days and nights are consumed with thoughts of how you are going to get out of the current trouble that is drowning you. For some, the troubles come from outside sources – out of your control (e.g. laid off from work, diagnosis of a disease, a divorce, etc.) and for others these troubles are a direct result of a series of poor choices (e.g. choosing to sin, spending beyond your means, continuing to feed an addiction, etc.). Regardless of the “how” the troubles came to be, working through the circumstance is overwhelming you. The more you struggle to cope with the problem the more isolated you become. It sometimes feels like it’s you against the world.
The enemy enjoys isolating believers. It is one of his most powerful weapons. If he can get you alone, he can feed you one lie after another lie. It’s a lot easier to believe a bunch of lies when there is no one else around to point out the absurdity of what you are chanting in your mind. I have fallen victim to this strategy of the enemy on more occasions than I’d like to admit. There was a point in my life that I was so isolated that I didn’t leave my house. I believed the lie that I was so disgusting looking that no one would even want to look at me. I was so enveloped with shame over the way I looked that I had a difficult time talking to people face to face. Looking them in the eye was near to impossible. I came to the conclusion that isolating myself was the only way to survive. Unfortunately, in the society that we live in you don’t have to ever leave your house. You can have groceries delivered, pay all your bills online, communicate with people via phone/computer, and even have all your pet’s supplies delivered to your house. I spent two years of my life believing the enemy’s lies and refusing to set foot out of my apartment during day light hours.
Then I had a stroke. I was forced out of my isolation. While seeking the necessary medical attention I began to interact regularly with others. In order to become healthier the doctors suggested that I start exercising. I joined the YMCA, began taking classes, and made the decision to do what I could do to get well. I began taking a Dancercize class a couple times a week. I started making friends in that class. I looked forward to their company each week. I was beginning to form relationships with other people again; it felt really good. I began to feel hopeful for my future. One day the Dancercize Instructor, Betsy, invited everyone in the class to a Bible Study on healing. That was my first experience with Christian fellowship. That Bible Study began my journey to wholeness. I refused to be isolated any more. I chose to reach out to others for friendship and prayer, becoming a participant in the healing that the Lord wanted to do in my life.
Isolation is not the Lord’s plan for His children’s lives! He specifically created us to be in relationship; first and foremost with Him and then with other people. Gathering together with other believers undermines the enemy’s work of isolating you. It can be a place where you can receive prayer for the circumstances that are overwhelming and confusing. Fellowship can be the first step towards receiving the healing that Jesus wants to do in your life. The act of reaching out for help makes you an active participant in your healing.
For many, joining others in group is a scary proposition. It was for me! I’m here to tell you that it is worth the risk…reach out! One of the places where I started reaching out to others was at the Healing Service at All Saints Church on Tuesday evenings. The first time I attended, I only had enough faith to walk through the door to sit alone in a pew. That’s all it took! I’ve experienced Jesus’ love and healing through the people who attend that Service in ways that I never imagined. Fellowshipping with everyone who comes to the Healing Service has blessed me abundantly.
Until next time blessings and healing