I recently saw the power of community in action.
I was away from my family in South Africa, traveling to teach in various Bible Schools and grace seminars. During my trip, my son began to suffer with asthma. We debated whether to take him in to the doctors, having treated this condition at home before. Finally, my wife took him in.
It was not long before we realized he would be admitted to the hospital with a case of pneumonia.
I was ten time zones away. How was my wife going to cope and still take care of our healthy son?
This is where community stepped in.
We had friends picking up our oldest (healthy) son, staying with him overnight, and eventually taking care of him for 2 days getting him to school and sports.
We had people offering to help with meals.
Still others went and sat with my youngest son in the hospital so my wife could run home to shower and change her clothes.
Countless text messages, multiple phone calls, and prayers from around the world went into this event.
As a helpless father stuck halfway around the world, I realized I was completely out of control (which is something I do not enjoy). Yet multiple times, I was brought to tears when considering the amount of friendship and support we received in our time of need. In our time of weakness, others were there to help us out.
Hebrews 10:25 tells us, “not neglecting to meet together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The Hebrews were tempted to renounce their faith and return to Judaism. While likely not facing this extreme of a challenge, we like the Hebrews need a support network around us.
While this passage is generally used in relation to gathering with a local church (which is a wonderful thing to do), even more it reflects the value of community. We need each other
John Donne penned the famous poem, “No Man is an Island.” Truer words have never been spoken. However in our societies we are becoming increasingly independent and self-sufficient.
God created humans to live together and help each other. It was not good for Adam to be alone, nor is it good for us to live in isolation.
I have to admit I did not value what I had in our community in South Africa, I had begun to grow callous and take it for granted. It took a crisis to reveal the amazing gift that friends and co-workers are.
How about you? Do you realize the need for community? How are you helping someone else receive the blessing of community?