By: Tim Sader
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (Psalm 57:1)
There were quite a few things right in my life when I was in the Hospital during Mothers Day but life felt like it fell apart after losing the ability to feed myself. It was an unimaginable loss in my life! I tried trusting in a relationship with my then girlfriend whose last name was Hope but after bad things happened in both our lives we broke up and through that loss I truly learned we can only hope in the Lord. Through my relationship, hospital visit and breakup my family continued attending MorningStar each week. It really felt like a safe haven where we could get away and be fully devoted to our relationship with God. MorningStar is pretty large church with an average of about a thousand people on Sundays. Fitting in for most people feels difficult at first and with that number of people it is hard to know who to connect with. After a while we started hearing about connect groups but a lot of them were hard for us to commit to living forty minutes from that area. The Lord had been revealing many thing to my mom, brother and me so we decided to speak with Bobby the family pastor at MorningStar. He shed some prophetic light on things we could be doing individually and as a family to grow spiritually. Connect groups he said would be a great on ramp for us to feel more like we were part of something. He didn’t pick for us but suggested that we contact the Andersons who had a growing group of disabled children to adults and their caregivers. We met them at the beginning of a week night church service when they were getting settled at their seat. They were a young family with twins grade school age and one that started school shortly after we met them. We first met Corrie then her husband Jeremy and the twins Merry and Shelby. Last we were introduced to Zachary in his extra fancy stroller he needed to get around. He was unable to talk to us because of a brain injury but behind his smile, laughs and coos I could see an unexplainable joy between himself and God. It is sometimes said that Zachary spends most days in Jesus lap and through the years I have seen this be an accurate statement.
We were impressed by this family and immediately felt a strong connection with them. After meeting we were ready to join their homegroup. I’m thinking mom went alone for a while because it was near the holidays and we were preoccupied at home. Members refereed to this gathering as wings home group because we could show up there and be relaxed knowing that everyone one there had similar struggles. We felt safety in the shadow of the Almighty’s wings when we came together seeking Him to be our refuge in our various times of need. We were like a glorified support group for one another. We would pray together, watch videos, do bible studies and share our thoughts but we also shared resources and share wisdom about life in the disabled community. Because we had so much in common with other families in the group we were able to exchange the valuable knowledge we all had to help one another go without we needed. Sometimes it was just a phone call, prayer or hug other times it was I have a phone number for this organization and they could really help with that. We were meeting together for different activities outside of group; we ate together often and shared our lives with glad and sincere hearts (Acts 2:44-46). Those that share similar struggles who believe in Christ should share their love and compassion with eachother. This helps us to take our eye off of our struggle and helps us remember others above ourselves. Not focusing so much on us takes our mind off it and we remain humble (Phil. 2:1-4). Eventually as lives changed our group progressed and came to a necessary ending. The bond we formed with the Andersons has matured into a beautiful and successful friendship. We even got to share a weekend with Corrie, Merry and Shelby when they came for a weekend visit with us in Charleston.
Lord Please help us to find others with similar struggles to our own who can help us most because they have been there. Help us to have divine appointments with people we can share our lives with and for strong bonds. Also please help us to look not so much at our own struggle but to find another who we can help through theirs. In Jesus name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16