Comfort is . . .
The Word. Prayer. Prayer with amazing friends. House church. My husband's embrace. Hot chocolate and popcorn and a chic flick and a an old friend (in the form of a favorite book)--yes, all at the same time. ;-) Baggy sweat pants and a big sweatshirt. My sisters' words of encouragement and prayer coming from across the miles. Connecting with a cousin I have prayed for but rarely ever seen. Bubble baths with The Word.
I don't know why but I always consider HC to be the perfect end to a week. It's not my perfect beginning. I always think of it as capping off my week. It's what I look forward to at the end of a long hard week. A long hard week, is what both Ralph and I had this past week even before the events of Saturday night. Our HC is amazing. We both started out feeling worn and weary and a little bit discouraged. And then they came--and they just kept on coming. It was a FULL house this week. We had one new person and 3 second timers. We were only missing 4 regulars. Normally, I don't get hung up on numbers. We have seen such quality with our smaller numbers--quality growth, quality relationships, quality discussions, quality prayer, etc. For some reason, numbers had been one of the things bothering me this week. Other HC's in our region are maxed out and we're not. I don't necessarily want to be maxed out for maxed out sake--I just feel bad that they're overwhelmed at times and feel like we should do more somehow. At the same time, I feel God has kept us small because it's what our people have needed. The group we had this week was spectacular. We discussed Romans 5:1-11--a totally God-ordained conversation (see CreightonHC for those details. Anyway, we both ended the night feeling completely energized and comforted and refreshed. These people are my Church more than "big Apex" is. I believe that is a positive thing. It is what our goal for HC is. "Big Apex" is just a gathering of "little Apexes" all together. "Big" is just big and empty without the fellowship, nurturing and ministry of the other. In fact, I am more apt to invite someone to HC than I am to "big Apex." I find it is more personal, less intimidating ("Come to my house for dinner with friends; we're also going to talk about the Bible some and spend some time praying for each other" vs. "Come to church"). All that to say, Thank You, Jesus, for the Body of Christ. Thank you that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope and that Your hope does not disappoint.