Sunday, February 22, 2015

Room 314: Fellowship

In my law practice, I have noticed a tendency to be a lone ranger. I feel pressured to minimize social contacts for the purpose of efficiently completing the client matters that I have been retained to complete. Similarly, in our home life, Heather and I have found it increasingly difficult to be purposeful about fellowship with other believers. Between our work, ministry and preschool schedules, not to mention the planned and unplanned visits to pediatricians on behalf of our children, there is not much room left to be purposeful about meeting with friends, both old and new. During my recent hospital stay, we experienced the benefits of maintaining fellowship with believers. Ever since Micah died, I have met regularly with a fellow brother in Christ. While both of us have numerous other commitments that would, from an economic perspective, dictate against continuing to meet together, we have committed to maintaining that fellowship. By a series of events that only God could have ordained, this friend "happened" to be stopping by at the hospital on the afternoon when my surgeon decided, almost spur of the moment, to call me into a significant emergency surgery. My friend's physical presence, and prayers over me and Heather as I headed into the operating room, provided tremendous encouragement to me. Likewise, Heather's Bible Study Fellowship group and other close friends provided her with tremendous logistical and emotional encouragement during those many days of my physical absence from the family. The author of Hebrews strongly encourages us to continue to meet together because it is crucial to maintaining our faith. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25. My experience in Room 314 has shown me how I have recently succumbed to the pressure of becoming a "lone ranger," for efficiency sake, to the detriment of our fellowship with our believers. I am so grateful for my colleagues at my law firm who graciously assisted me with my clients and professional contacts in my absence. More importantly, Heather and I are so grateful for the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ. In addition to numerous meals, logistical support, the spiritual encouragement from prayers offered up on your behalf has been invaluable. I pray that God would use my Room 314 experience to demonstrate to us the fundamental imperative of walking in close fellowship with fellow members of the body of Christ, and not try to walk this walk on our own.

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