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This past week the expression “out in the cold” has really meant something.
With temperatures in the single digits and snow covering the ground, I don’t think I want to be left out in the cold. Between the wind whipping into every little crease in my clothes, the snow blowing in my face, or the slippery ice under my feet, it can be downright uncomfortable.
But the expression, “out in the cold,” actually means something different. It means to be all alone. It refers to that feeling you get when it seems that no one cares and there is no one you can turn to anymore. We have probably all felt that way from time to time, but these days it seems even more widespread.
Perhaps it is the economic times we live in, people just don’t have enough resources to care. Maybe it is because the family as we have known it is falling apart, and the people we used to count on aren’t there anymore.
Maybe it is because we have become such a technological society that we have lost those human connections that we really crave. Perhaps all of these and more are to blame, I don’t really know.
But I do know that God made us for community. He made us to care about one another. In Genesis, he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Gen2:18 NIV) In another place the Lord says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV) God made us to help one another, to support one another, he has even given us an organization to do that, his church.
I discovered that years ago when my wife and I moved to California. It was there that I learned that the church is not buildings, it is people joined together by God who become part of his family. That is why over and over in the New Testament you see believers called brother or sister. We are family.
In this new world of ours, we need that sense of family. We need to know that we belong, that we are cared for and loved.
Sometimes we forget how important those connections are, and some churches may struggle in building those connections, but the fact is we need them.
The Bible also says, “Man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Pr 18:24 NIV)
I have found those friends in my church. Maybe you are feeling out in the cold today, alone and somehow lost. Let me suggest that you find a good church and invest yourself there for a while.
Let God begin to work in you and you will find in Christ you have the family, the connection, that you always needed.