I almost drove off the road. Catching myself I swerved into the Dunkin Donuts parking lot.
“What did you say?!” I said.
“Isabelle has Leukemia,” Ashley replied.
Without bruising, sickness, or exhaustion, my two-year-old was diagnosed with a deadly disease. She acted perfectly fine! Weeks and weeks of surgery, chemotherapy, steroids and other drugs followed all on the weight of a diagnosis.
We cannot see the Leukemia or direct effects of it. The chemo we give her causes effects difficult to watch. Yet, we do what we’re told because we believe in something we cannot see.
Isn’t this what faith is all about?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV).
As Christians, (if you are a Christian) we have confidence in and assurance about what we do not see. Tying this into leukemia, we believe what the Bible says about a deadly condition we have. Because of the diagnosis the Bible gives, we act accordingly. Both in life and leukemia we take seriously an authoritative diagnosis of our condition.
Every week now (including tomorrow morning) we pack our hospital bags and drive an hour and a half away to Riley Children’s Hospital. We go through blood tests, spinal taps, and meetings with doctors. Every week we review blood counts and make detailed plans about treatment going forward.
I am astonished by the parallel here. Visiting Riley is super important so we remember what is at stake. Going to church has a similar effect.
During the week Isabelle is energetic and mischievous. By just watching her behavior, you might forget she has leukemia. Yet, if we forget and let our guard down, Isabelle could suffer great consequences.
I think church attendance is vital that you and I can be reminded what is at stake. Heaven and hell. Love and selfishness. Brokenness and Wholeness.
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” -Hebrews 3:12–13 (NIV)
Do you see what the writer said here? The danger is that we can be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. I think regular time in church is vital so you and I remember what is at stake.
Three ways that Church reminds us what is at stake.
- We receive instruction on what God has to say in the Bible. In that, we are reminded of what is truly important
- We experience community. We are surrounded by the same people going through many of the same battles that we are and we find encouragement there.
- We sing about hope. Songs are important. Songs remind us what we believe. Songs can give us hope.
In my life I am seen tremendous parallels between spending time in God’s word and spending time at the hospital. I need to be reminded about things which I cannot see but have huge effect on my life. Honestly, I see this is the number one value of showing up in church on a regular basis. You and I are reminded about that which we cannot see. We are reminded what is at stake.