04 March, 2006


Well, I really didn't want to go to caregroup tonight. Recently, my life has been rather humdrum in a difficult sort of way, so I've let other things take primary importance. As a result, I had no regular devotions, got little out of church services, etc. etc....I wasn't desiring God, despite the recent messages at the church about that very thing. (I always seem to be a bit late about catching on to the subject matter of sermon series.) So, I didn't want to go to caregroup because I didn't want to answer questions about my relationship with God. John and Nate were over for dinner, and we were having fun there, so why go to caregroup? I went anyway.

I did not have a huge "religious experience" at caregroup. No one prayed specifically for me. But, guess what? By caring for the body of Christ, I was made more hungry for him. Vicariously experiencing grace feels so good! This happened a while ago when I was praying for a non-church friend, too. After caregroup, Lisa and I started to sing. John joined us, but Chuck had to leave and took the song book. We got our hands on a Methodist hymnal, and kept on going. Boy, was that fun! Worshiping God a capella with all sorts of varying harmonies is exhilarating. Feeling a hymn resonate through my body means so much more than just hearing it from the lips of another.

Lisa drove me home, since my parents had left earlier. We arrived home to the ending of "Fantastic Four," and Nate was still lounging around. So Lisa and I enjoyed a quasi-wrestling match between Nate and Mike that involved a squirt gun and an injured ankle. Good entertainment, let me tell you!

Once again, God has used grace through his people to remind me of his direct grace. Now begins the process of making that grace a regular experience. I learned tonight that it takes about 6 months for the human brain to get used to new habits, so I guess that means I'll be working on this for the next 6 months. Devotions, here we come! (I think I'll start with John Piper again...)


Bubs said...

as long as you aren't the one who gets your ankle broken. LOOSE SOME WEIGHT NATE!

Jon Daley said...

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to come join you in singing.

As for not having anyone specifically pray for you - while it sometimes may happen that God speaks/impresses a word or two on me for someone without them saying anything, it is probably more likely that the person has said something, and then I am struck with a scripture or thought to challenge or encourage them.

While I don't think a person has to speak at every care group - if they did, I suppose that might be a sign of needing attention or something, I do think that people need to be bold/humble in speaking when they might not otherwise feel like it.

Care group should not be a confessional per-se, where one has to bare all their rottenness (though it is likely God would bless that) but neither should it be a place for hiding and being all smiley.

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Thanks for those observations, Jon! I've been realizing lately that God can show his grace to me in subtle ways...in ways that don't involve myself :-P

Clear Ambassador said...

If you participate in the Kingdom of God only when you can imagine or anticipate benefits, you are, in a way, limiting God's work to the confines of your own mind. You're not actually limiting it, 'cause God works apart from us, but it is sort of amputating God's power from your perspective.
If we believe God is actually God, then we should sally forth into the unknown but clearly indicated (e.g. "Do not neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some...") with full confidence that our inability to picture tangible benefits from the experience has absolutely no bearing on the actual procurement of such benefits. If God's thoughts are indeed higher than our thoughts, then we ought to "fly by instruments," not worrying that our plane is in a bank of clouds and we feel like we're spinning even though the dials are staying steady.

Thank goodness we have a reliable, 66-book instrument panel :-)

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

yes, it's the whole "God-in-a-box" surprise :-)

I've been confining God's extravagant grace (meaning, the graces that don't come daily) to mountaintop experiences, like Celebration or Youth Camp. I have a lot more to learn about him!