It’s been an incredible couple of weeks with highlights and challenges which are part and parcel of the life of a pioneer I guess. Highlights of times have sometimes hidden themselves as they’ve become immersed in the shadows of defeat. Likewise, despair has sometimes been pierced and shattered by the brilliance of a God moment.
Regular readers will be aware of a vision we have to have some form of sanctuary/hub/presence in the High Street where people could just come and ‘be’ themselves. This would also be a place of rest and worship with good coffee, funded in part by some form of up-cycling social enterprise. This is not just my vision, I carry with it with others, but am kind of taking a lead.
Last week the building that many of us were convinced was the building we would be able to use became unavailable. I was walking down the High Street to meet a friend for coffee when I saw people on top of a ladder removing the ‘for rent’ sign. My feelings of being gutted were painfully raw. I was annoyed. I was frustrated. After all, people have sat outside this building and prayed and believed. People have phoned me to say they are convinced this is the building God wants us to have. I certainly felt that myself. Could so many of us be wrong? Well … at the moment, with the present set of circumstances, we have to say … ‘yes! we were!’
So … how do we deal with disappointment, particularly when that disappointment in this case is with God.
In my personal situation, it is easy to look at my work and say … ok I have been here now for 15 months, and still we are no closer to finding and using a building. That situation worries me more when I add to that … I gave up paid work for this, and still we re no closer!!!. It is amazing how that little, insignificant money, fact can really screw with your head when other things become challenging. It’s irrational, but its there. On Sunday night I preached on that chapter in the Bible (1 Samuel 24) when David is hiding at the back of the cave with Saul chasing him down with 3000 armed men. Saul pops into the cave for a wee and David has this great opportunity to kill him and put an end to his troubles, take the role of king that God has given him and simply get on with what he is called to do.
But … David does not kill Saul. I said on Sunday night that I believed that this was because of two things. David had learnt to wait ON God … as in to pray and talk with his creator. David had also learned to wait FOR God … as in to wait for God to act rather than take things into his own hands and force the issue.
Waiting and watching can be frustrating, annoying, de-skilling, confusing, stressful and even quite boring! But, in waiting, God is noticed. In waiting, you learn to recognise signs of the kingdom. In waiting, God changes you.
David knew the promise he had received and he acknowledged that God had to sort the stuff out. He had to wait, and trust God, … and he waited quite a while.
So … i find one way I can deal with disappointment is through waiting, watching and reflection.
I have been waiting now for 15 months … and it seems God is saying I need to wait, and trust, a little bit more. Presently I think that’s harsh … but accept it. If you are the praying kind … I’d welcome your prayer … waiting is good, but patience is thin.