Monday, September 1, 2014

Drowning or burning the way is the same

I didn't write Friday, and the world swam on. I didn't write Friday, and ministry continued. I didn't write Friday, and it was good. (See what I did there with the good and the Friday? Just saying ...)

I, after nine weeks of going 9-10 hours a day with no days off, finally sank like a stone. Oh, I did some work, but it was light work, mostly talking about our humongous, zippidy-do-dah dinner thingee coming up in December to help finance the church. But seriously, I didn't write.

So, Monday comes around and it feels like it has been a year.

I go to the scriptures for incentive, picking out of the blue something to read from the prophets, and lo and behind, here tis the offering from Isaiah 43:

"But now, this is what the Lord says -- he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...' "

Since last week when I was reminded by a worship weaver just what a difficult task lies ahead of us as we plant a church, look for what to do next in worship, look to forge our way into the unknown, I've been hesitant. I worry, when I must feel and look confident or I can't lead. That's just the way it is for church planters, who as a person must feel some degree of hesitancy all the time or I question their authenticity.

But as we work and we plan, it seems to me that all the work and all the planning in the world are secondary to the fact that God has either gone before us or we are for lack of a better term doomed.

We can't make it happen. We can't work it to death. We can't plant where there is no fertile ground, and the fertile ground is in God's hands.

But should we remember, we will not drown, we will not be burned for He is the Lord our God. And it is in that we must cling.

This brighter and sunny Labor Day, let our labors be not our own. Let God lead the way.