Devotions

If Going to Church Is Difficult …

January 26, 2022
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD.’” Psalm 122:1 (NKJV)
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There is nothing I enjoy more than attending church with my family. It’s the nourishment my soul needs as I begin each week.

But just to keep it real, the task of getting inside those church doors isn’t always easy.

I remember, when my boys were little, our pre-church, Sunday-morning routine was both chaotic and exhausting for my husband and me. Getting ourselves ready, getting our children ready, packing up the diaper bag, buckling up car seats. By the time I entered the sanctuary, I was worn out.

And like clockwork, about 20 minutes into the service, I was summoned.

One of my boys usually had a meltdown and wore out one of our church’s sweet volunteers with inconsolable crying for his mama — that would be me. I would then spend the rest of the Sunday service hanging out in our church lobby, sitting in the “cry room” or walking up and down the hallways of our church.

Maybe you’re in that same season of having little ones, and staying home is easier than all the effort required to go to church. I understand the struggle!

Or maybe it’s not the kids; it’s your own busy schedule, and you don’t have the time or energy to make it to church. You promise yourself you’ll try to catch it online … again. I get that, too!

I praise God for technology and for the online church options we have when we are sick, traveling, in a bind or in the peak of a pandemic!

Oh, but there’s just something special about being in the house of God.

In the book of 1 Samuel, a woman named Hannah spent years praying for a child. When God granted her request, Hannah knew that her little boy, Samuel, was a gift from God. So she kept her original promise to the Lord and gave her son back to Him. Samuel literally grew up in God’s house.

That’s where little Samuel first learned to hear the voice of God.

Spending time in the presence of God gave Samuel the opportunity to hear from God. Years later, little Samuel became the prophet Samuel who anointed David as king … the same David who wrote, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD’” (Psalm 122:1).

It all came full circle. Hannah’s faithfulness in making sure Samuel was spending time in God’s house had an impact on one of the greatest kings of Israel.

And so it is with you and me. The seeds of time we sow now in going to church will reap a harvest greater than we may ever know. In our own lives and in the lives of our friends, family and children.

My teenage boys no longer need my help getting ready for church, but trust me — we still have our share of Sunday-morning “Hurry up, or I’m leaving” chaos going on. The devil is real, and he will never make going to church easy.

So whatever obstacles come our way this weekend — an unexpected last-minute diaper change, a teenager who won’t stop staring at himself in the mirror, or perhaps something much deeper that’s keeping us from entering those church doors — may God give each one of us the strength and direction we need to persevere and make our way to the house of God.

I believe we’ll be glad we did.

Heavenly Father, we live in a day where so much competes for our time and attention. Help us to make spending time in Your house a priority so our spirits can receive the nourishment they need. And for my dear friends who have been hurt by a previous church experience, I ask that You would heal their hearts and lead them by Your Spirit to a place where they can grow in their relationship with You — a place they can call home. Thank You for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Do you know about our Spanish devotions? Every Encouragement for Today devotion is translated into Spanish with the help of our Spanish volunteer team! We also offer a selection of our books and Online Bible Studies in Spanish. If you or a friend would benefit from our Spanish resources, please visit and share our Spanish devotions page! Thank you for doing your part in spreading the Truth of God’s Word!

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FOR DEEPER STUDY

Psalm 84:10, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere …” (NIV)

Hebrews 10:25, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (NLT)

Have you or someone you know drifted away from church? Begin to pray for hearts to be open.

How has attending church blessed your life? We’d love to hear from you. Share with us in the comments!

© 2022 by Binu Samuel. All rights reserved.


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