I’m slowly coming to terms with the realities of adulthood. In the past year, I’ve found myself paying for things like a cell phone and car insurance. And in four months, I’ll be getting married. Which means I’ll soon be paying for a home, electricity, water/sewer, and—well, you get it.
Every child knows what it’s like to be home alone. Every student knows what it’s like for a teacher to leave the classroom. And every employee knows what it’s like when the boss isn’t around. In those moments, our first instinct is to do whatever we want. Destroy the house. Be the class clown. Send a text message. And all of that sounds fun—unless, of course, the one we fear suddenly returns. And we get caught. So, with that in mind, most of us choose not to take the risk and act as if said person could return at any moment.
There’s an old proverb which reads, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” In other words, you can provide opportunities, but whether or not people accept those opportunities is out of your control. Take, for instance, the call to salvation. You can give the most robust explanation of the gospel, but you can’t make someone receive it.
But let me rearrange some words in that old proverb until it reads, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t leave him once he starts drinking.” In other words, you can lead someone to Christ, but you can’t just walk away after he or she accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. And while you might agree with that statement, do you really believe it?
I’ve been in church my entire life. My parents faithfully brought me every chance they got. Sunday mornings. Sunday nights. Wednesday nights. And trust me, there were times when I didn’t want to go. But that never made a difference. I was saturated in the Bible from birth. The local church was the centerpiece of my childhood. And now, at 20 years old, I’m incredibly thankful to have that story.
I’m more in love with the local church today than I’ve ever been. I realize the importance of the local church like never before. Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Duh, Isaiah. Of course you love the local church. You’re a minister!” That’s true. And maybe I’m slightly biased. But I wholeheartedly believe in the power of the local church. Maybe because the local church has shaped me into the person I am today.
It was like being caught in a whirlwind. Shaken to the core. Reminded of what matters most. Stepping upon stones. On an unknown sea. And clinging to Christ through it all.
That’s what 2019 felt like to me.
Can you relate? Another year has come and gone. Like a tornado rustling through a village. And you’re trying to understand what’s left of it. Rummaging through debris. Picking up the pieces. Much has taken place. Some good stuff. Some bad stuff. Some stuff you’re still unsure about. As you walk into 2020 with a strange mixture of excitement and fear.