This week has been a little crazy around the church. At one point we had four different contractors working in the sanctuary at the same time. There were ladders, scaffolding, tools, and dust everywhere. I have been excited about this sanctuary renovation from the very beginning, but I must admit, when everything is in upheaval it can produce a feeling of uneasiness. Not a scary uneasiness, but an uneasiness brought about by the unknown.
In the past, we knew what we had. Carpet colors, stage design, lights, sound, video, etc. Now we have moved into an uncertain future that comes complete with many “moments of truth.” When the pew restoration company started bringing in the new pews I held my breath and crossed my fingers. Did we pick the right fabric and stain? When the carpet installers began working…did we do a good job in our selection? This process has been repeated with each new install and will continue until all the work is done.
Each step in the renovation process has been a tiny bit stressful because all of the people involved in the process want for things to be beautiful and right. Not for our own glory, but because we truly want God to be glorified and for people to have a house of worship that ushers them into God’s presence.
Like I said, it’s a tiny amount of stress, but it hasn’t stopped the church or the people involved in the creative process from doing what needs to be done.
Sometimes we can let our fears stop us from pursuing all that God has for us. When God told Abraham to “Go into the land I will show you” Abraham didn’t have the ability to look at his GPS and map out a plan. He needed to trust God. And by the way, I’m sure Abraham had some stress and fear along the way, but it didn’t stop him from stepping into the unknown like God asked.
When Moses brought the Jews out of Egypt he had to march them directly into the wilderness. The destination was the Promised Land, but the road to get there was through the unknown.
God often does His greatest work in our lives when we are living in the unknown. When we have to step back and trust Him. So yeah, the unknown can cause stress and fear, but for the believer who is in a right relationship with God, it should also breed excitement. Cause God is about to show up!
And God has been showing up at New Hope!
In recent months we’ve been blessed to bring on two new pastors to our staff. Pete Wells, our Youth Director, joined us in April, and Mark Edington, our new Connections Pastor, will join us this Sunday. We feel like God has orchestrated this in His own way. Is it the unknown, yes. But when you see how God has connected these pieces, it’s EXCITING!
I want to encourage you to seek God in prayer and ask Him what he would have for your life. What fears of the unknown have kept you from becoming all He created you to be? What elements of your past have been a weight around your neck that God is calling you to let go of? He wants to move you forward. It’s time for you to move forward! Doing this may leave you with a temporary feeling of upheaval, but God has His perfect ways of making things shiny and new. Trust. In. Him.
That is why Paul encourages us in Scripture…
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I recently heard a song by Elevation Worship that sums up the feeling I have in my heart for New Hope at this moment. It’s called There is a Cloud, and you can listen to it by clicking on the link at the bottom of this blog.
We have stepped into the unknown with church renovation, with new pastors on staff, and a new strategy for ministry as we REACH – CONNECT – GO – GROW. God has primed us for His work, and it’s because we have stepped into the unknown, just like He asked us to do. If God is calling you to something similar in your personal life, I pray the Holy Spirit would fill you with the strength to step into your calling!
As a church, we have planted seeds for the harvest and now we’re ready for God to water the fields.
Heavenly Father, We Receive Your Rain!