• 88°

DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Rain and fellowship

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

Last night I was writing an email when I heard this strange sound on my roof.
It sounded like it could be reindeer, but I know better… I had to go outside to see what was happening. I was surprised to see and hear…rain!
We haven’t had rain for over three weeks at my house. There have been some storms in the area, but nothing for us.
I had to sit down and enjoy the rain for a while. There was some lightning around with the gentle roll of thunder. It was such a pleasant and welcome sound, I had a hard time going in. When I finished getting ready for bed, I heard the rain pick up in intensity. It was very late, but I went back out and sat on the porch for a while longer. I was so happy to hear the rain.
When I finally went to bed, I faced the window so I could watch the lightning flash and listen to the distant thunder. I am not sure how long I laid there listening, praying and thanking the Lord for the rain. I enjoyed the sound of the rain hitting the trees and the roof, knowing the earth was rejoicing with me.
This morning my grass was green and refreshed. I believe it is the same thing we feel when we spend time in fellowship with friends. Last week I had the privilege to eat two breakfasts out, one with my pastor and the other with a former pastor. I had a great time catching up with them.
We shared lots of laughs, some things our families were walking through, both the good stuff and the struggles, and talked about the future. I love talking with friends about our faith; it helps me see that we all struggle to live out what we believe. I love knowing I am not alone. It gives me the courage to come back home and renew the fight to maintain my faith.
I am not sure why, but I have had the unbelievable honor to be able to encourage my pastors. I can’t tell you how many pastors I have helped move through the years. I pray often for my pastors. We all expect our pastors to pray for us, but how often are you praying for them?
We will go to the pastor when we face a crisis, looking for help and guidance, but are we willing to be there for them when they face life’s challenges?
With God’s help, I have been able to encourage my pastors.
When my former pastor and I were finished breakfast he said, “It’s been good to see you. I got to encourage you and you got to encourage me…”
Isn’t that what we are called to do?
We are supposed to build each other up in our Christian faith. Pastors, elders, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, children’s church workers and youth leaders all need to be encouraged. They need our prayers. We need to bless them for the work they are doing.
The truth is we all need to be encouraged in our walk of faith. We have a real enemy to our soul who works tirelessly to discourage us, get us offended, tries to get us separated from others and creates doubt and fear so our faith will be ineffective in helping us live victoriously.
That is why we need each other; we need fellowship and encouragement so we can maintain the fight. Through the dark times I need you and you need me. We need to help each other up when we are down and to give each other some gas when the tank feels out.
Don’t misunderstand; every conversation doesn’t have to be spiritual. Sometimes just sharing life with someone who cares can be the most uplifting thing I know. The important thing in any good relationship is that it has to be mutual.
Actually, if we all focused on how we can brighten someone else’s day, listen when they are struggling and make sure we are there when they need us, then we will discover how quickly they will come to our aid in our time of need.
I want to encourage you to be the refreshing rain in someone’s life today. Call someone and encourage them, or just offer your listening ear. Look for a simple way you can brighten someone else’s day.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, it can be as simple as sharing a meal with them. God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes He chooses to use us if we will make ourselves available to Him.

Doug Creamer writes a column about religion for The Stanly News & Press. Contact doug@dougcreamer. com.