Family Reunion

"...that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together." 1 Corinthians 12:25-26
This weekend was amazing. Seriously like a little taste of heaven, with sweet fellowship, amazing ministry, and good food with brothers and sisters from all over the world. These times are sweet and the joy and unity is so tangible that it lasts us through the tough times. This is part of why we are a team, a family. These good times build us up, and the hard times draw us close.
Last weekend, our church held a night of prayer for the persecuted church. They laid out information sheets about how to pray for the 100 most persecuted countries in the world. Two of them were places where my brothers and sisters whom I love dearly have traveled. And though the countries where I have been (El Salvador and Honduras) were not on the list,they are not free from persecution. And the only reason I have not experienced such joy and fellowship with other believers all over the world is simply because I have not met them yet.
And then it hit me. Though I do not know them by name, I am connected to them just as I am with all of the people in this picture. When they are beaten, starved, and murdered for the name of Christ, it is just as if one of these were. Even though I've never met believers in Korea they are just as much my family as the believers I know and love in Clearwater.
My heart cried out to the Lord with this realization. "O God, these are my brothers and sisters!" And He answered with a gentle reply "Beloved, I know. These are My children."
God is not blind to what is going on in the world. He is not deaf to their cries nor is He silent about their suffering. There will come a day. And on that day we will all revel in the glory of the Author of salvation, the Lamb that was slain, our Perfect Righteousness. Then I will see those that I have suffered with but never knew. And then there will be no sorrow, no pain. And we will get to do what we have spent our lives trying to do, be with and worship the Lover of our souls. All this because He first loved us. 
O Lord thank you.
Until then, we will suffer with those who suffer, yes. But we will also rejoice with those who rejoice. We will reflect on the mystery of the cross, and stir one and other up to good works. We will praise His holy Name and we will remind each other that we are but strangers and aliens in this land. We will press on with this job and purpose we have been given and together we will run to Him who is outside the camp. We will meet and fellowship and worship the Lord and then when that day comes, we will have the biggest family reunion ever. Hallelujah!


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