By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period of time in a dream world. He does not abandon us to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods that come over us like a dream. God is not a God of emotions, but the God of truth. Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it. – Bonhoeffer
The greatest hindrance to us enjoying Jesus Christ and His church is our desire for life to be a certain way; this certain way differs from person to person. For some, the certain way is well ordered and predictable. For another it is exciting and continually innovative. For someone else, the desire is for everything to be free of conflict. All of these prevent us from being able to see the grace of Christian community.
The Christian community is given to us for sanctification: the process of becoming more dependent on God and more in love with Him. The people that God has placed in our community are not just there for our appreciation and enjoyment, but they are there to help shape us into worshipers. This requires us to come face to face with the selfishness of our expectations; to be disillusioned, over and over again, with the certain way that we use as an idol. Living side by side with imperfect people struggling toward healing is how God helps us find our hope in Him.
Seeing the church this way allows you to love others. Without this, people will either be needed to give your life meaning, or the thing that stands in the way of your happiness. Only by allowing people to be the mess that they are, being honest about it, and working together to find unity in the midst of brokenness will we find God’s plan for the church. In the midst of it, you may find that some of these broken vessels become friends.