I have a bad back, and I just can’t sit in one place for more than a few minutes. This means I’ve stopped going to church, but is God going to be angry at me because I stay at home now instead of attending church? — Mrs. N.F.
God knows your situation — and that means He knows both what you can do and what you can’t do. If it’s not possible for you to go to church, you can be sure that God not only knows it but He doesn’t blame you or condemn you for it.
At the same time, I strongly encourage you to keep up with your church and support it in every way you possibly can. Pray for your pastor; pray for your friends in the church; pray for its missionaries; pray for its efforts to reach out to others with the love of Christ. Make sure your pastor knows why you can’t attend regularly, but let him know you are grateful for his ministry and are praying for him. Keep up your financial support also.
More than that, ask God to help you find new ways to grow spiritually. Elsewhere in your letter, you mention how much your church has meant to you spiritually over the years. God still wants to help and encourage you, even if you can’t get to church regularly.
Get recordings of the services if you can, find church services or Bible teachers on TV or radio who can help you, and set aside time every day to read your Bible and pray.
Most of all, my prayer is that you will sense God’s presence with you every day. God knows what you’re going through — and He loves you and is with you. Jesus’ promise is for you: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Take comfort in His constant presence.
The Rev. Billy Graham, whose column appears in Faith & Values every Saturday, can be contacted at “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201.