When You Face Trouble, Community Is Your Safety Net
When you experience suffering in life, you need people to weep with you.
There are situations that nobody should ever have to go through alone. Nobody should ever have to wait alone in the hospital while a loved one is in a life-and-death surgery. No woman should ever have to wait alone for the lab report on a problem pregnancy. Nobody should have to wait alone for news from a battlefield. Nobody should have to stand alone at the edge of an open grave. Nobody should have to spend the first night alone after a spouse has died or walked out.
The fact is, some of these things are going to happen to you. They’re inevitable. You’re going to go through tragedy. You’re going to get bad news. You’re going to experience heartache. Only a fool would go through life totally unprepared for something that you know is going to happen. The time to build the safety net — the network of supporters and friends — is now.
What is God’s safety net? It is a group of other believers. You don’t need a hundred. You only need five or six — a group of other believers who are committed to you.
There was a guy who came to Saddleback Church for seven years. He sat up in the bleachers. He never got involved in anything, never joined a small group. He just came to worship and then left right after the service. One day he had a heart attack and was in the hospital for two weeks. I was traveling and didn’t even hear about it until I got back. When he got out of the hospital, he came to church and said, “I’m leaving the church.” I said, “Why?” He responded, “Because it’s unfriendly. Nobody visited me in the hospital.” As he left I thought, “It’s your fault!”
He never cared about anybody but himself. He never cared enough to even meet anybody. He never got in a small group, never gave, never shared. It was his fault that when the crisis came, nobody was there for him, because he never made any connections.
That’s not how God intended for any of us to go through life. Here’s God’s plan: “Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 TEV).
Community is God’s answer to despair. You were made to share your life with others! Now is the time to find the people who will support you through life, who will rejoice with you in your victories and weep with you in your trouble.
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