Have you ever done without something for so long that you just accept it as a new normal? Over the past 5 years, due to a new child and some other factors, I developed some patterns of sleep that have been so unnatural, that a solid 8 hour night of sleep happened once every 1-2 months for me. I found that 4-6 hours of sleep was good for me and I needed at least 2 hours of sleep each night to function through a full day of work. These were not healthy patterns, but did teach me a lot about myself. On average, it has now improved, but an uninterrupted 6 hours of sleep for me is still a blessing. What things have changed in your life that you used to take for granted?
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
When I was a young Christian, I had a group of other guys that met and had bible studies together, and was generally very encouraging in growing my faith. I have had a few friends over the years that I could also talk and pray with whenever we would call or meet, but they have been going through some difficult times over the last 5 years as well. The past few weeks, I have started meeting regularly with a couple of other men from our church, which I have been desiring to do for the past 10 years, but it has apparently taken this long to finally come about, despite many attempts to make it happen.. A couple years ago, I did have a friend invite me to his small group of 4-5 men, which met at another church and had been together for over 10-15 years, but was at a time of the week that did not usually work well for our family. I attended several times, and felt welcomed, but was definitely an outsider as the only new guy in 10+ years. I attended several larger Vital Men meetings, but again was on the night that my wife usually had a bible study as well, so I preferred her to go. So, we can go without something that is helpful to us for so long that we may even assume that it will never be a part of our lives again, but you never know.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
What other things have you taken for granted in your walk of faith? If you have ever moved or changed churches, you can definitely tell there are some things that work well at one that may not be the case with another group of believers, as there are pros and cons to every decision in life. We go through different seasons in life with our families, with work, with our health, with our church family, and with our own faith development, and these usually overlap with one another as well, so many things factor into where we are right now. When things are going well, we often take that for granted, and even let the good practices of our faith slip a bit, so we don’t meet, pray, or read the Word as often as we once did. Until something happens and those things we thought would always be there are suddenly gone, we then appreciate how good we had it. May you continue to grow in your faith despite the other support you may have or not have in your life. May you appreciate the love, grace and forgiveness extended to you by our God and fellow believers, and always be willing to extend that to others each day we have.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28
Yours in Christ,