Natural Disasters, Needles, and Nearness

My Travels Led Me Here
For whatever reason (weddings) I’ve been away a lot of late. I’ve traveled everywhere from Louisville, Kentucky to Tulsa, Oklahoma in the past month and I’ve finally landed back here in beautiful southern California. If there is one thing I’ve learned during my journey, it’s that I’ll take an earthquake over a tornado any day. Admittedly, I didn’t actually encounter any tornadoes, but just the idea of them freaks me out. And when you’re surrounded by people telling you that if something happens you need to jump in the bathtub and cover yourself with a mattress, that’s not too comforting. I really just think of natural disasters like a shot in the arm — don’t tell me when you’re gonna poke me and I’ll be fine. That’s how earthquakes are and I think it’s the better way to go.

Another bit I’ve learned during my short journeys is that there is sweet fellowship to be missed when you’re gone. Summer usually marks the beginning of vacations and traveling, but may I make a suggestion — stay close to home. Not only will it keep you from spending a fortune on gasoline, but it will keep you near God’s people — that is, your church. I walked into church on Sunday for what felt like the first time in a month (which it basically was) and realized how much I missed being around my church family. I even went as far as to welcome back a friend from a missions trip he hadn’t even gone on yet — geeze, I’m an idiot. It may have only been a month, but it felt like a year. I missed a chunk of our current preaching series in Mark. I missed many opportunities to serve in the Sunday night band of which I play drums for. Generally, I missed the fellowship of being with God’s people. It was a joy for me on Sunday night when multiple people came and encouraged me and just wanted to talk. It was a blessing for one gentleman to introduce himself and ask me what I was doing with my life right now. Furthermore, it was the greatest blessing to be under the preaching of God’s Word and be reminded of my sin. Sometimes we take time off and think we can just take time off of our Christianity too — at least that’s how it is for me. My hope for the summer is that I’ll be around and be ready to learn and be used by God. It’s not to say the Lord can’t use your vacation to provide much needed rest, that’s not my point. My only aim is to see how God will grow and strengthen my heart through the summer months and that I won’t take a vacation from being near Him.

By Shay

A little bit, a little bit more.

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