Sunday, November 27, 2011

VERSE- brothers and sisters in Christ

Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

There is nothing more important to the Lord than love. As teenagers, we witness and experience the lack of love every day. It seems as if sometimes, there is anything but love for one another. Inadvertently we turn to jealousy, anger, disrespect, and hate as small conflicts come up in our daily lives, often using profanity and vulgar humor instead of encouraging and loving words. There are many, many passages in the bible that talk about loving your neighbor as yourself. The hard part is not necessarily loving your friends and family, but the strangers you don't know and the "enemies" you don't get along well with as well.

I was blessed enough a few weeks ago to be able to go to Saranac Village for Fall Weekend, along with forty-ish other high schoolers from our local Young Life group. Thinking back on the whole experience, I realize the thing that made the trip so memorable was not all the fun things that we did, but the fact that I was able to spend a solid three days with a group of awesome people. I got closer to the people I didn't talk to much, I strengthened relationships I already had, and I talked and understood more about people that I saw on a daily basis but never had quality time to really share together. They were truly my friends, always loving and always supportive. The act of worshiping God together, as a group, bonded us in a way that I never want to lose. We spent so much time together doing everything, including eating and sleeping that for those precious few hours I could see us as a real family in Christ, not related by blood by through our common acceptance and belief in Jesus our Savior. I was always safe in their presence, as secure and comfortable as if I were living with my own family.

I saw this especially with the guys that we shared a cabin with. Aside from me, there were 9 other seniors, 3 great leaders, and 6 underclassmen that made it the best weekend of my life. When we came together at night we would talk and share our thoughts without fear of being judged. All of us knew that if we had something troubling us, we could talk to one another. All of us knew that if there came a need, we would support each other through thick and thin. Having that close, tight bond for the days we spent at Saranac was worth more than anything I could imagine. I'm beginning to understand a bit more about God's purpose in creating us. He wants us to be together, to worship and pray together. As humans we weren't made to exist alone, but to seek each other out and build relationships, relationships that are enhanced by our devotion to God.

Now that I'm back, I have a deep desire to go back to Saranac, to experience again the times I simply walked around or sat down and talked with my friends. "A brother is born for adversity," Proverbs 17:17 says. It's hard to transition back into my old life, but reassuring to remember that if anything comes up, I can lean on my brothers for help. I want to surround myself with people who will keep my accountable, who lift God up through their actions. They're not perfect people, certainly, just as I'm not perfect and no one on the planet is perfect. But having God's love in them is good enough. I may feel sad and lonely and detached from the people I spent an awesome Fall Weekend with as time distances us, but I can remember that we are still brothers and sisters in Christ. I don't remember the exact moment, but there was one time during club that I distinctly remember feeling especially emotional about it. We were sitting down and singing, and I just took that moment to look around me, at all the joyous faces and familiar voices... people I felt a deep and powerful connection to after sharing just a few days together. And I realized- these were the people I would be spending eternity with. These people were my family. I don't ever have to feel sad because I know in the end, I'll be able to sing and spend my days like I did at Saranac- with a family of people that I trust and love.

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