love for the long haul

I think the following sentence represents the core of Oswald Chambers' thought. I wrote it down in my journal and wrote in the column next to it: This is central to what I believe to be true! So, here it is: Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God s character, we do not yet know him. Coming to understand this is key in spiritual transformation and maturity. Connected to this are my thoughts on small groups, or home-groups as we call them in our church: small groups that gather on a regular basis, sometimes for worship and study, but mostly for the mutual spiritual support of friends and for prayer. I ve been part of the same home-group now for about four years (I don t lead it). There s lots of material out there that suggests mixing up the groups every year to keep them fresh and focused on a study book or whatever. However, I ve now come to the conclusion that love for the long haul has many more benefits. It is incredible, I must say, to be with the same people for over four years, watching them suffer, struggle, survive and even strengthen through all of it. It is amazing to see people grow over the years: not by becoming more successful, more pain-free or more cheerful (in a denial kind of way); but more resilient, patient and wise. I hereby testify that the people in the home-group I am a part of are truly learning how to look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God s character. They are an incredible source of encouragement for me.

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