How much more can I take?
Usually this is a comment of despair; the balance between circumstances and resources seeming strained beyond breaking point. It is this balance of circumstances that has brought me back to blogging after a shameful delay.
A bit about circumstances: life is busy. This is something that everyone knows, but perhaps it most evident to first time parents. This new person in their lives takes creates a mountain of work.
The birth of a new Church seems to create a similar amount of work, although fewer nappies (diapers in case any Americans get to read this)
We began meeting on Sunday Mornings last Sunday. We had previously met in the afternoon to allow people to find out what we were like. Morning meetings are an important step for us as it forces people to make a choice about the Church they want to join. We also began a minibus service to collect people because we recognise that the number of cars in the Church has created a limit to future growth. 21 people came, which was a bit down on recent numbers, but we had communication from most the people who didn’t come explaining that they wanted to come but circumstances prevented them coming on that particular day.
We have begun a meeting to train future small group leaders. We now meet every Tuesday and these are often an immense encouragement. Last night we had the best follow up to a sermon I have ever heard. There was a brief summary of what had been preached (hospitality) and a really practical discussion of how do we work out hospitality in a multi-cultural, socially diverse, inter generational Church.
We also have a leadership group that meets on alternate Wednesdays and Saturday mornings. This is where we plan and review.
A few of the guys went to Zimbabwe 2 weeks ago for a conference where Julian Adams, Simon Holley and Sam Poe were speaking. It was a time of huge encouragement by all accounts and our expectancy to see similar things amongst us has grown. We are planning to have times where we can wait on God together, however this means more time!
We have a visit from Terry Virgo in 2 weeks for a leadership conference. We are excited about this and are trying to work out accommodation for all the delegates. This is complicated by slow responses from delegates and hostels that don’t answer phones or reply to emails!
So why the title? Last night I was driving some guys back after the meeting and hit a pot hole which took the front wheel off. No one was hurt, we were not travelling fast. It is however something of a discouragement and will be expensive. Coupled with my the rupture to my Achilles tendon and difficult relationships with the administration at the College whereI teach, our stay in Zambia has been trying.
However, it isn’t to these events I am referring, but rather to Romans 8:32 (ESV) — He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
I had turned to this chapter to meditate on Romans 8:28, but kept reading. If God did not spare his own son... but with him graciously give us all things, it must mean that the supply from Heaven will always exceed our circumstances.
Our Church will grow despite opposition because God’s provision dwarfs opposition. We will see leaders produced, people of character and integrity, because God’s provision is sufficient. We will see the manifestations of God’s power both in Church and outside, because God’s provision is able to do far more abundantly, beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
So if the question is how much more can I take, the answer is there in the abundant provision of God. There is enough to see the mission completed; enough to reach the finishing line and not run in vain. But I must take more of his provision, there is so much to take.
Please pray for us, it is quite demanding at times, pray that we don’t lose heart, but press on.