I often get emails from people asking me to help connect them with brothers and sisters in their area who might be walking a similar journey. I love to do that whenever I can, and in fact find it one of the greatest joys of my travel—to see Father link up people who didn’t even know the others existed. But unfortunately I don’t always know people in a given area to recommend and it is good to remember at times like that, that placing people in the family is not my job or yours—it belongs to the Holy Spirit according to I Cor 12. That’s a job he’s very good at.
On that note, I came across a quote by CS Lewis this morning that is worth some contemplation: He wrote about how religion distorts things:
Of course, the ‘first thing’ he is talking about is our relationship with God and the ‘second things’ are any other good thing we desire. As I read that I thought of an email exchange I had in the last few days that illustrates this. A young woman from Cincinnati wrote me a few days ago:
Do you have any ideas on how I can find others who want to fellowship, encourage, evangelize, and do all the things together in a home-based gathering? Thanks for reading all of this. I’ve been through a lot of late (rather emotional) and I think I’m suffering from depression at this point. So I apologize if that comes through.
My response to her: “I wish I did. You sound like a wonderful person on a great, though sometimes-painful journey. Unfortunately I don’t know of any believers gathering this way in the Cincinnati area, but I have no doubt God does. And he will connect you to them when all is ready. Until then, I applaud your attempts to look however you can, ask questions, seek out referrals. But in the end, how God connects you and when he does will be more up to his plans than your wants. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Someday you may just hear some folks talking about Jesus in a way that captures your heart. Then find out what they’re about…
“Until then, just enjoy him and let him refresh you as his daughter… I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.”
Then I got this back from her last night:
Don’t you just love her response? If we put first things first—our living in Him, he will take care of second things, which is how we fit in his body wherever we live. Until we get that order right we will continue to search and search for just the right group of people and always find ourselves disappointed. But when we put our relationship with him first then no matter who he asks us to walk alongside at any given time, we’ll be incredibly blessed!