Thursday’s Thread

Has your heart been longing for relationships…the unplanned, spontaneous, deep-loving kind? 

You’re not alone…and it doesn’t matter what your personality is because both extroverts and introverts are alike in their desire for deep connection.
God created each one of us with a craving for relationships. Some of us have been wounded and hurt while others are wondering if this kind of friendship really exists, yet both have a yearning to find sacred connection.  

Why does this longing exist deep within us and where did it come from?

If we look into the heart of our Creator we will find God, Himself loves community…He could have remained alone but He chose to fill it with people like us. Not only did He choose to include us in His plan, He opted to embody community within the trinity…the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Son.
The Bible speaks of all three being gathered together when they created man. 

In Genesis 1.26 God said,
Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’

God wanted man to be like Him..to live within community too.
He desired us to be His image bearers and for us to throw Him back to our world!

God created us to live and breathe in community
-for His glory, His work and His mission!

God’s intent was not for man to be detached and isolated.
We see this to be especially true after God made Adam in Genesis 2.18 we hear God’s thoughts in scripture…
‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’ 

It is fascinating to me that here as man is in God’s presence alone with Him, God suggests that it wasn’t good for man to be alone.
Our Creator’s concern for man went beyond Himself, it went deep into the realm of Adam’s longings and needs.
God cared about man’s physical and emotional needs far before Adam even them.
God desired for Adam to find satisfaction so much He bypassed Himself and added others into the equation.
In other words, God didn’t expect man to be in solitude alone with only Him.
He made man for community and created him as a social being.
God knew Adam and knew what was best for him!

Just as God knew what was best for Adam Solomon later adds to this conversation in Ecclesiastes 4.9-10. He includes all of us when he says, 
Two are better than one...If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.’ 
How much harder it would have been if we were left alone, to ourselves.
No one to share our ups and downs with, no one to walk beside, to learn from, to communicate with…our lives would have been missing what we were created for.

One writer puts it like this…
Perfect solitude would turn a paradise into a desert, and a palace into a dungeon.’

Following God’s acknowledgement of man’s need for others God forms the animals and birds and He replies…
‘But still there was no helper just right for him.’ (Genesis 2.20b) 
God knew even animals could not fill the emptiness of man’s souls, his need for mutual conversation and tender affection. God knew this for us too!
Thus our desire for meaningful exchanges of knowledge and a co-worker beside us.

Arguable so, a dog may not be man’s BEST friend we need each other for life itself. 

So God created woman and the man exclaims,
At last!..This one…’ 

Man found his peer, his companion, one to live life beside. God in His selfless way gave us one another to enjoy.
This verse can cause us to consider that a man and woman can only find satisfying relationships within marriage but the Bible speaks of community that extends further than marriage.
God has given us one another to live out His mission and His story with.
He offers us each other even in our brokenness to draw us towards Him and to send us out to tell of His good news.
Community, even in it’s hard and messy seasons is provided to draw us deeper towards God.
Whether it is living in the tension of messy relationships that are breaking us to our knees or the beauty of it that sends us into grateful thanksgiving, both draw us towards Him. Sometimes we can feel frustrated in community,
especially amongst believers and wonder if it’s really worth the hard work it can be.
We let hurt and division overshadow the good news of the gospel.
But truth is, building and living in the encouragement of community requires us to soak in the truth of the gospel and believe it.
Sin’s ongoing existence in our world sometimes causes us to exchange its truth for lies.
Yet this is where the beauty of God’s transforming work takes place
-right in the midst of community! 

God’s word is full of teachings on community.
Here are some scriptures that help us transfer our eyes from ourselves and look towards others to pursue community. 

encourage one another…’                                                         1 Thessalonians 4.18
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.’           1 Peter 4.9
Be devoted to one another in love.‘                                         Romans 12.10
Honor one another above yourselves.’                                     Romans 12.10
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’              Ephesians 5.21
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.‘           Hebrews 13.1

These scriptures emphasize our need for one another, their context requires relationships. For us to live out why God placed us here we need others even the ones that might drive us a little crazy. We can’t excuse ourselves from God’s intentions for community.
For it is inside messy relationships that our weaknesses and struggles are exposed.
This is why community becomes necessary for our growth, because when we are left to ourselves our sins remain hidden and below the surface.
Community becomes healthier when we render it to the work of our Father in Heaven. God is redeeming and transforming every part of our lives even our broken and difficult relationships.
We are unable to continue becoming who God needs us to be apart from community.
It is tempting to consider our need for community only in the hard times but its in community that the Bible shows us our need for it daily. For the mission of Christ is not only for US to look more like Christ, but for others to know Him too!

God Himself lives in community.
God created us for community.
God transforms us inside community.
God reaches others through community.
 

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