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It had happened again. I’d lost friendships with people whom I cared for deeply. I didn’t know what had happened, but I must have done something hurtful. I trusted people and people trusted me and we broke that trust.

From our own wounds, we had wounded each other.

I wanted to know what I did wrong and how make it right. I apologized. I expressed my love. They didn’t want to reconcile. I couldn’t understand it. It felt like when others received grace, I got the cold shoulder. I cried. Hard.

We’d been in the trenches of Bible study together, we sang the same worship songs and listened to the same sermon series on unity. How can it be that we let these kinds of things happen? I just didn’t get it.

Fellowship had been broken.

Then God stepped in. A guest director for our choral festival spoke words that changed my mind. She spoke about unity, not music. Rather than teaching vocal skills, she a talked about a vertical relationship with God.

Fellowship with the Spirit.

Only when that vertical relationship is right can we reach horizontally in pure love to our sisters in Christ.

I had forsaken the perfect vertical for the broken horizontal.

My phone rang late after texting a desperate plea for prayer. My friend called with her tender, listening heart. There was no advice or judgment. Simply someone who wanted to help the hurting to stop. She did for me what we read in today’s Scripture.

My friend encouraged me with mercy, comforted me through love. When I reeled from division, she drew me to the presence of God. She prayed and the Spirit of peace released my troubled soul. She brought fellowship in the Spirit.

To be one, we need the fellowship of the Spirit.

We can’t help but be tender and gracious, when we are steeped in His holy presence.

We see the best in others and help them to be better when we are prompted by the Spirit. When we are God’s expression to each other, the body flourishes and love compounds.

Lord, forgive me for the way I’ve caused You sorrow
by leaving Your fellowship. Draw me close to You always.
Soak my heart with your affection and mercy.
Guide my words and actions to encourage and honor others.
Father, I ask You to help me partner with your Spirit in humility and pure love.
Let me focus on Your goal. You goal of being one.

Today: Read Philippians 2:1-4



~ Diving Deeper ~

How does Scripture draw you closer to God?
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Linda Gibbs

Linda's heart is with the worn. She writes to encourage and give hope to others because of the crazy love God has for the weary. As a single mom for more than 20 years, Linda has experienced, firsthand, God's delight in His children. Linda lives on the Great Plains of Nebraska with a lot of pigs. Literally. She manages the family pig business.

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