To be real transparent, I struggled for years in the church to connect with people on a deeper level for 2 main reasons:
1) I was looking for someone in church to model and never found anybody.
2) I struggled to understand why my fire goes out when I talk to people.
When God radically changed me, He changed me! It was weird to be crazy and on fire for Jesus. To dance, to sing, and to express worship in craziness! I thought that when you meet Jesus, people will be as crazy as you. I figured everyone will get on the same boat. But it always felt like I was on a different wave-length and people never got me. This had led me—if you know my story—to leave church a couple of times. At one point I left for 6 years. I tried to do the Jesus thing on my own (which I had failed miserably, in many areas). I was so frustrated in my younger Christian years in the church, because I never found someone or the thing that I was looking for. I thought the church never had what I was looking for… and I was right. The church never had what I wanted, it had what I needed.
It was in the world, in all its darkness, and hopelessness, that God reached out in His kindness to show me the beautiful purpose of the church. One day it dawned on me and God gave me the opportunity to see that I am the person I was seeking to model (but didn’t know at that time). That I am the part of the body of Christ that I thought was missing that others didn’t get about me. I came to realise that it wasn’t the church that was missing something... that what I was looking for was missing in me and not in the church.
Do you know how liberating this was for me? God was OK with me being “me”, and that people needed what I had to offer for their seasons, as much as others contributions’ offered on mine. And that my fire was not just for me, it was for them too. The fire I wanted to see in others was not there because it was the one I was supposed to carry for myself to see and them to feel! God is so good!
So does the church helped me in every season? Absolutely, through the function, gifting and individual purposes of the church people. Like, who doesn’t get encouraged and refuelled after a prophetic word? Or the prayer of a brother/sister? I can’t believe I missed this before. The world doesn’t supplement our seasons as adequately as the church. The church is completely equipped to help us overcome all our seasonal needs.
Understanding God’s purpose for the church allowed me to see my purpose in His design of the body of Christ. He knew that other people might not understand me, might not get me, but He also knew that my hardships were moulding me for His glory. For He will return one day—this is his ultimate plan for the church. Most of the time the church doesn’t supply what we expect it to, but it does supply what God knows His people need.