We altered our usual routine and went to the North Campus for the Christmas Eve Service (we are Downtowners) and then the Saturday Evening Service. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God both times:
- I don’t even think about whether my multiply-disabled son will be welcome. I know he will be.
- Spending 25 years at one church produces long-term friendships, even if we don’t see folks for months at a time. On Christmas eve we ran into dear friends who also have a significantly disabled child, members of former and current small groups, and people we’ve just gotten to know. These dear people have seen us at our worst, and many have prayed for us or served us for years.
- I can count on God-centered preaching. Pastor John was away, and Pastor Glenn provided a solid, biblical, helpful word from Jonah 4. Pastor Sam blew up a firecracker (and gave a good word from Colossians 2) on Christmas eve.
- On Saturday I ran into two men I deeply appreciate for different reasons. Both have been gifted by God with significant skills and abilities. More importantly, both have wives who are or have looked death in the face because of serious health issues – and all are standing firm in faith and hope in future grace. That fraternity of men who have faced hard things is precious to me, and I find their God-centeredness deeply encouraging.
None of these things came immediately. All required time and a significant amount of grace from God and from other people. Yet how sweet it is today to enjoy such gifts – even as there is so much to do on this issue of disability. God is good, for reminders of his grace along with a secure and future hope in Jesus.