Last week I celebrated my birthday and it was a great day. Not because something spectacular happened or even for big gift. It was a great day for the simple reason that I got to spend time with my wife and family. Family is the most important aspect of my life and despite our dysfunctional nature we accept each other for our strengths and flaws. To know someone even in their mistakes and still love them is true love.

The body of Christ should work the same way. We should accept each other for our triumphs and mistakes. That does not mean that we bend to suit the will of others, but that we lovingly accept others for their shortcomings and move towards Christ. This should cause us not to see our acceptance through the eyes of man, but through the eyes of God. The masks that we wear in the church, our workplaces, and at home need to go.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." 1 Peter 5:6-9

The struggles we face everyday are made great by the people that stand around us as our support. For me that is my family who has shown me that I can do anything. However, when I became a Christian that changed even more. I no longer saw my family as only those who I shared blood with, but I saw my family as those whom I was reborn with. A family of believers who were all washed in the same cleansing flow that made us spotless before God.

Face the day not alone, but surrounded by those who love you. Through the tragedies that you face in your life we can come together as the support to see that with God anything is possible and that our anguish here is not the end, but the chance for renewal.

For all of my friends that I know are hurting I come to you in your grief and pray that you find hope in the path that He has made for you. Not to hurt or destroy you, but to change you and make you stronger for His glory. You know who you are and you should know that my heart and prayers are with you.