This is a lesson I learned a while back, but it still applies today...
When I go to church, I want to hear the Word without interruption. I assume others go for the same reason. So, when one or all of my girls get a little loud or overly cranky, I tend to take them out of the sanctuary for a break that sometimes turns into me missing the remainder of service; that is quite frustrating at times. Well, today it happened. Just before communion, and the sermon, all three girls expressed their discomfort and unhappiness in one way or another (screaming, fussing, attitude). I left my two oldest daughters with my husband and I took our youngest downstairs, changed her diaper, fed her, and then I cried; I was beyond overwhelmed and emotional. I really wanted to hear the Word and be in the presence of God. But, with no child care or children’s church today, plus the girls’ lack of desire to cooperate with what I wanted (sitting still and being quiet is not every child’s specialty), my desires for hearing the Word had to take a backseat. As I continued to cry, God began to speak to me, and He reminded me that the church is in me and I am able to be in His presence at any given time, regardless of where I am. Coming to the building is great, but without a real relationship with God people are just going through the motions and placing an X in their mental box to say “I went to church”. Too many people are going to the church building, but returning home with no true church in them. Yes, the Word does say, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25), but did God say it NEEDED to be in the building? Before there was a building, there was God. When these buildings are gone, God will STILL be. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” – Matthew 18:20. As He continued to minister to me, the tears dried up and I was at peace.
I am at peace because outside of the church building, I still commune with God; He is in my heart. We have to realize that simply going to the building is not enough. If the church is not in you (myself included), we are still lost.
As always, be blessed and be a blessing.