My heart is also full of gratitude to those who encouraged us along the way with uplifting emails, text messages and most of all covering Greg and me in prayer. I felt so connected and unified in spirit with my sisters and brothers who took the journey with us. You will never know how your emails impacted me! The fellowship we were blessed to experience was rich and life changing. My friend gave me a card that sums up my gratitude so beautifully it says “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom”. Thank you. Isn’t the following quote beautiful?
“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
Our fellowship with the brothers and sisters we met along the way was also incredible. There was an instant connection as though I was meeting a family member for the first time. No, this was not the case with every believer, but it sure was the case with many!
Greg even teased me by asking if I was running for President and didn’t tell him because I hugged so many sweet souls. I felt in an unexplainable way that I was eternally linked to them. Check out the definition of fellowship from Nourishments:
Fellowship- In worldly terms, fellowship is to gather together with those who have similar interests or goals. Biblical fellowship includes this aspect, yet goes far beyond. Fellowship in the kingdom of God is to be indelibly linked to other believers; it is to have lives so intertwined as to share sorrow and joy at the deepest levels. It is a unity of spirit that has its foundations in the Lord Himself. The Apostle Paul likened the community of believers to a body (1 Corinthians 12:12–27); he wanted to convey the degree to which we are connected to one another. More importantly, believers collectively form the body of Christ on earth (Romans 12:5)—we are His hands, His feet, and His voice, to one another and to an unbelieving world.
While we were gone my daddy’s best friend of 40 some years died. He led my daddy to the Lord and changed our family forever. I remember the day as an elementary school aged child my dad came home and called a family meeting. He told us he accepted Jesus as his Savior and our family was going to attend church and he would no longer stay out late partying with his friends. He was true to his word; life in our family changed dramatically and for the good. When I shared with Greg that Lovell died at dinner, I burst out crying. I always loved Lovell, but we were not that close mainly because I have not lived in Ohio since college. Later, I wondered why I burst into tears and I think it was because of my deep gratitude to Lovell and his close connection to Jesus that he conveyed with his life choices. He was a touch point to my Savior and he is gone from this earth. I want to be that touch point to others. I want to be His hands, feet, arms and voice to this world as long as I get to live here.
1 John 1:1-8 says the only way I can be a touch point for Jesus is by connecting with my Lord continually. The more I read His Word, listen to good solid teaching the more it will overflow to others. I know when I am not in fellowship with Him because am not as inclined to give others much love. Jesus reached out to others and was constantly frustrating his disciples because everyone mattered to Him and He took time for others. Who is Abba asking you to fellowship with today? Who needs a little grace, mercy, truth or attention in your life? I think in a very real sense when we love others we connect with Jesus in a deep and profound way because we are reflecting Him to others and to ourselves. We can not overestimate the value in giving someone else a little loving attention; it can change their day, and even the course of their life. We humans are vulnerable, fragile beings with sensitive souls whether we portray a tough hide or not. We honor our Abba and reflect our Savior when we simply care enough to take note of another human being.
Fellowship in the kingdom of God is to be indelibly linked to other believers; it is to have lives so intertwined as to share sorrow and joy at the deepest levels. It is a unity of spirit that has its foundations in the Lord Himself. How sweet it is!