A Pleasant Surprise

December 12, 2014

By Laura DiFatta

I love surprises like running into an old friend or receiving an unexpected card or gift. Last Thursday night was certainly a very pleasant surprise.  You see, I spent that evening with a group of young women whom I had never met before because I had been asked to speak to their group about whatever God laid on my heart.  They meet together regularly and had found me through the blog.

I will admit, before arriving, I had some butterflies.  My mind swirled with thoughts like, “what if what I have to say is not interesting or relevant to their lives?”   Each times these thoughts came to the surface, The Lord always took me back to this reassurance of His Word:  In 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, Paul said the following to the Corinthian Christians about a visit he had made to them:  “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence of superior wisdom… For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”  (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)  If Paul placed his confidence on the Gospel, then, I resolved, I certainly would as well!

The pleasant surprise that evening began as soon as I walked in the door.  Immediately, any nervousness that I had dissolved.  I was greeted first by the resident cutest dog ever and then I was enveloped in hospitality and warmth by the hostess and each person I met thereafter.

We enjoyed an amazing dinner prepared by the hostess during which the conversation flowed freely.  As I observed the interactions between these friends, I was struck by just how genuinely authentic these young women are with and toward each other.   It was such a precious time and so lacking in pretense—which is so beautiful and rare in our culture!  After dinner, I was given the honor of sharing some things the Lord has been teaching me.

Some of the things I was encouraged to learn about these young women were:  they are intentional about their relationships with God, they are intentional about meeting together regularly and using their gifts to bless one another, and they are intentional about encouraging one another in the faith.  They are true friends and those friendships have the common foundation of Christ.  These are beautiful, bright, hard-working women who—I am confident—are making an eternal difference in each of their spheres of influence.

As I have reflected on the evening, I realized these things:  we had experienced Church and it was beautiful!  Right there in that sweet home, we believers—who are called the body of Christ, His Church, of which He is the Head—ate together, dug into the Word of God, learned more about following Jesus wholeheartedly, prayed together and encouraged one another.   Each of those things is part of being the Church.

I truly believe if more people could experience this kind of Church, then the spiritual growth, trust and positive accountability that is meant to be experienced among believers would be much richer!  And perhaps that richness would result in more people being attracted to the God we represent!   I have personally learned over and over that there is unique refreshment of spirit that results from believers gathering together for the humble purpose of worshipping Christ and learning more about Him!

And so, I am encouraged and find myself smiling when I think about last Thursday night…and  the very pleasant surprise of the fun I had with people I had not even met until a few hours before.  I’m convinced we all need the regular reminder and pleasant surprise of just how much fun we can have being the Church… together.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews: 10:24-25


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