S46P7 – A Father’s heart: enfolding the fold

Eph. 4:3-6

Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all who is over all and through all and in all.

I really wanted to go to school there, but I knew nothing about the area. I took a weekend trip to visit the campus and see if I could get connected with a local church that I would be able to call home if I made the move. A quick internet search and a telephone call garnered an invitation to attend a young adult service while down there. After that came an invitation to a lakeside cook-out that a number of the Christian students from that school had organized. It was like finding an instant community that weekend. Although I eventually went to school elsewhere, I learned something important from that weekend. The Father’s heart is to keep us connected so that we can find a home among those who have found a home in him.

Solitude is not something that the Father desires for us. We see that from the beginning when He decided to give Adam a mate. We were made for community and fellowship because the body of Christ cannot operate otherwise. There may be times when we feel as if a little seclusion is exactly what we need to get through a certain tough time, but we should count on God having another strategy. I cannot tell you the number of times that I was in that position only to see my brothers and sisters inexplicably come out of the woodwork and make me spend time with them. I believe that was God showing me that He has created this community for a purpose. He is the one who unites the fold, and He works through each of us to reach each of us. He does not intend for me or you to struggle alone.

It is certainly the Father’s heart for us to realize our roles in the body of Christ and contribute in that way. If what we desire is some time to ourselves, and if it would be better for us to be in fellowship with the body, it is not beyond our Father to move us in the direction He desires. It is the direction that serves his will and the will He has ordained for the body. He wants us to remain in the fold because there we find support, protection and encouragement. It is where we were designed to be. Father, thank You for giving us a community to which we can belong and in which we can affect change, and give us a desire to remain connected to the body of Christ in community with our brothers and sisters.