by Pastor Jason Poling
So, we’ve had quite the adventure this year as a family. To make a long story short, due to some unfortunate circumstances with our home, we had the distinct privilege of moving not once, not twice, but three times into various temporary arrangements…all in the span of about two months! My wife and I definitely have noticed some more gray hairs…just please don’t act like you notice them!
I use the term “adventure” because, although it has been quite trying, it has turned out to be a blessing in many ways (how God makes trials work out like this still remains a beautiful mystery to me!) One of the cool things I’ve observed is the spiritual growth of my children and a deeper family unity that has resulted because of this.
All of the psychological experts say moving is one of the most stressful things humans can experience. I’d have to agree with them! And like I said, we’ve done it three times in two months. But something happened to my family while under that duress: every member rose to the occasion and helped the whole family make it through. It was pretty awesome to watch, especially because I wouldn’t have expected this, given the fact that my children are relatively young (the youngest being 5). Against my preconceived ideas that my children would melt down and add to our stress, they each became stronger and actually became necessary parts of God’s plan to help us through our trials.
Even in the absence of routine, toys, TV, and their usual interactions with friends, my wife and I noticed a miraculous contentment descend upon each of our kids. They played better with each other than perhaps we had ever seen before. They fought less (let’s be realistic though…they did still fight…but much, much less!) They were more obedient and much more willing to help mom and dad out when we needed it. Even more exciting than all of this, in their own unique ways, they seemed to be growing closer to God! So, yes, this may go down as one of the hardest periods of our life together as a family, but at the same time, it may be one of the sweetest times of unity and fellowship we have ever experienced!
And, oh, how this has been the same story of the family of God throughout the history of the Church! Even more, this can be the same story for the family of God gathered together here at Stonebridge! We will face trials together, and have. We will have our fights together, and surely have. We will face a world that will continue to hate us more and more. But, we have Christ together. And therefore, we have life together. Somehow, in spite of the odds, we will rise to meet each occasion of difficulty, both external and internal. We will each, individually, take our next steps closer to Jesus, and because of this, we will corporately take our next steps closer to this great Lord. We will dwell together in a unity that can only be forged in the fires of affliction (Psalm 119:71; 133; Acts 4; James 1:2-4).
— Stonebridge Church (@StonebridgeCR) December 15, 2015
The question for each of us is this: will you be a part of this family, offering yourself for the good of your brothers and sisters, no matter the cost (John 15:12-13; Ephesians 4:1-6)? It will be an adventure. I hope you don’t miss it.