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No Surprise!!!

No Surprise!!!

A few weeks ago, I was speaking to another teacher about the increasing struggles she had experienced over the last 3 - 5 years of her career. During the conversation it became evident that she and I had many shared experiences during our time in the classroom. Toward the end of our conversation, we both recognized that our similar experiences brought us to some common ground. We both, while standing in the small-appliance aisle at Walmart, realized that by sharing our struggles with one another it was God who had brought each of us through our situations. We each, awkwardly and with a few tears in our eyes, admitted our thankfulness to God’s leading grace. While standing there in the middle of Walmart, we took a moment to say a quick prayer of thanksgiving for what God had done in our lives and that He had put us together in that moment to provide some healing.

Later the same day, I walked into a small meeting at our church to overhear two young people sharing about a common experience they had experienced. What I heard in the conversation led me to believe the experiences were deeply hurtful to each of them. I noticed that each of them realized that through the support of one another they found a bit of healing shared experience. The sharing of their common experience began to help heal a season of hurt.

Later that evening it dawned on me that neither of those healing experiences would have occurred without the physical presence of one another. It seemed like such a revelation that I jumped out of bed and made a quick written note. I was greatly surprised!!!

Why was I so surprised? Friends, in these times it has become very easy to let so many things interrupt God’s design for believers to come together. God promises His presence through the Holy Spirit when two or more are gathered together in His name. There should be no surprise when we see God work while we are in the physical presence of other Christians. Assembling ourselves together is His design! Our walk as believers depends on coming together with one another.

The enemy’s work is to separate us from God and from one another. Sometimes we are separated by geography, sometimes by illness, sometimes by hurt, embarrassment, or sin. Sometimes we just simply separate ourselves by being too busy or by having other priorities. Other times we separate by the easy use of technology. Christians NEED to be TOGETHER! Hebrews 10: 24 - 25 is clear when it says,

“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.” (NIV).

It should be NO SURPRISE when we struggle out of the presence of our Christian friends. It should be NO SURPRISE when God’s hand works mightily when we gather in His name.

Eric Bowman


Eric Bowman ovalEric is our associate pastor, working with outreach and youth ministry as well as adult discipleship and growth. Eric retired from a 28-year career in public education as a high school band director in 2019 and is now living his lifelong dream as a pastor. Eric and his wife, Diana, continue to live in Henry County where they have been lifetime residents. They "raised" three children and are now making their best attempt at "raising" themselves.


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