It’s Not Easy but It’s Worth the Effort (“The Ministry of Showing Up” Series)

July 24, 2023

Editor’s Note: In January, Jared preached a compelling message entitled “The Ministry of Showing Up.”  This is the third in a series of three article we’re posting about how people apply that in real life, and we’re sure you’ll be encouraged!

My name is Sarah Muehsam, and my husband and I have been members of Covenant Fellowship Church for almost 17 years. We have three kids: Judah David (16), Elijah John (14), and Eden Hope (10). I homeschool Elijah and Eden. Judah has autism and goes to a school for kids with special needs. Some of you may have seen (or heard) Judah in church as he tends to stick out. He likes to carry around toys or stacks of cards, and he’ll frequently yell, “Go!” (the only word he can say) when he thinks it’s time for church to be over.

Church has always been a priority for my husband, John, and me. Actually, thanks to our parents, it was a priority for us before we even started our family, as both of our parents instilled in us the importance of regular church attendance. On our wedding day, I walked down the aisle to Michael Card’s “New Jerusalem,” a song about Revelation’s promise that God will dwell with his people. When we chose that song, we made a conscious decision to declare to the world that our commitment in marriage mirrors Christ’s commitment to his church. But sometimes things get tricky when kids are introduced, especially kids with special needs.

There are many things that are challenging for us to do with Judah as a part of our family. We can’t go together to the movies, or a play, or Eden’s ballet recital, or even to John’s dad’s funeral. It’s usually not worth the difficulty of going out to a restaurant as a family because it’s hard enough just going to the grocery store. Our other kids have had to sacrifice opportunities to be involved in events and activities because of the extra considerations our family has to make for a kid like Judah. But if there’s one thing we’re willing to make the effort to do together, it’s to be with God’s people when they meet.

Showing up at church with Judah each week isn’t easy, but we don’t go to church to get our felt needs met. We come on Sunday in faith that this is where the Bible says our sanctification happens. It has never been an option for us not to go to church, even with the challenges of bringing a kid with special needs, because it’s the place God meets with his people. So we just keep showing up, even when our 16-year-old has to lie down and sleep for us to all be a part of the service. 

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Regardless of any of our unique situations, there are only so many things each of us can prioritize with the limited amount of time that we have. Showing up at church should be at the top of the list because it’s where God does his good work in our lives. And few things are more important than that.

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