on trusting God
For most of the last year, I feel like God has been teaching me something clearly – how to depend on him and trust in him, and not to depend on my own strength, or my own ideas. Now, I’m definitely not saying I’m done learning this lesson now, or that I’m in anyway immune from forgetting this tomorrow (!), but I can see a real difference now, compared with how I used live in the past.
In writing about this here, I feel like I’m confirming to myself again, that I am committed to continuing to live in this pattern. I also think / hope / believe that maybe some other person might find this helpful too…
Over the last year, in particular, I feel like I have taken some steps and made some decisions, which were not likely to be successful – as far as I could see.
A big one was deciding to throw our energy and time into leading and re-planting Barney’s. Even though I was pretty sure that this was something God was leading us to do (read the story of one major way in which God nudged me towards this here), it was still pretty difficult to see how this would come good anytime soon.
And yet we did it. And God has been good to us. We’re not just sitting around in a circle with eight or ten of us anymore (which was quite usual for us back last winter). We have other people with us who are passionate about mission, and replanting the church, and being salt and light and God’s witnesses in the northern suburbs of Launceston. We have people who have stepped up to help with kid’s church, and music, and leading gatherings, and cleaning toilets, and making coffee. We have people who feel called to lead and create new communities of mission that will reach out to our neighbourhood. We have other people still arriving who are keen to find their place and serve God as part of our little community as well.
And for perhaps the first time in my life, I can already look back and see that I didn’t make it happen. I didn’t try to make it happen. I didn’t twist people’s arms. I didn’t lose sleep worrying about how to do a better job. I didn’t feel an unhealthy amount of pressure that it was all down to me and whether I managed to avoid messing things up or not.
I actually think I trusted that God was in this thing. Wow, there. I’ve said it. Now, this doesn’t in anyway mean I’m not about to lose the plot tomorrow and feel like it all depends on me again. I’m definitely not immune from that. But actually, as I think back over the last ten months or so, I can honestly say that this time was different.
I read a tweet recently, which said this:
“If God builds it, he will sustain it. If we build it, we have to sustain it.”
My experience over the last few months is that this is true. It has taken me a while to learn this. But it is true.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s been plenty to do, more than a few late nights, and there is plenty more to do into the future. But we got where we are, partly at least, because I managed to get out of God’s way and let him gather people, and guide people, and speak to people, and show us what steps to take next.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:1-8 NIV)