Anxiety, Stress, and the Necessity of the Church

Truthfully, I thought it was just me. The constant exhaustion. The trouble sleeping. The never ending battle. 

I stopped talking about the stress, anxiety, and fatigue I’ve been walking through because the last thing you or our church needs is another “woe is me” blog or post. I have been working to be purposely positive. I’ve attempted to communicate in a way that is forward looking. Most times when I don’t feel it deep down. 

I’ve realized after messages and conversations from church friends that Sunday’s message hit home. The discussion of anxiety and fear keeping us from faith is the reality that most of us are living with. 

We are all living in the constant exhaustion and never ending anxiety of a year which seems to pile sorrow upon fear upon stress. 

Funny enough, the overwhelming reaction I have gotten from people is the severe loneliness of believing they are walking their road alone. Social distancing, fewer trips out of the house, and a curtailed social calendar has cemented an isolated anxiety into each of our lives.

If there is one thing I have become certain of in these days of isolation it is of the absolute necessity of gathering again. When I say gathering, I certainly mean gathering together as a church for worship. For me, that is not enough. When I say gathering, it means gathering to be the church to one another as well. 

Yes, the church is not the building, but our worship together as a body binds our fellowship. Our fellowship though should not end the moment the final song is sung and the last folks exit the building. 

Our fellowship which is unified through our worship should carry over into our daily lives. We gather as a church, and when we leave we must “be the church” in fellowship throughout the week.

Being the church is God’s gift to the anxious heart. It is in fellowship with one another that we find strength. 

Paul says in his letter to the Galatians, “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

To the Romans he encourages them to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”

Do you see the picture of what it means to be the church? 

My temptation when anxiety, exhaustion, and stress come into my life is to draw into to my own isolation. My flesh seeks to starve itself from the very fellowship God intended to restore me with. 

The same is true for you. The farther isolated you become, the greater your anxiety will be. No one is carrying your burden alongside of you, and no one is weeping with you. 

You need to gather and find life with those in the church. Hear my heart. It is more than just showing up on Sunday. You need the church.

When the Bible instructs you to not neglect the gathering of the saints, it is teaching a concept bigger than attending church. It is saying that your soul desperately needs the fellowship of relationships found in the body of Christ.

Come and gather to find the restoration God gives through His body the church. Come and gather to be the church.

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