I think I’m starting to see that some people sitting down together each week reading the Bible and being honest about life together actually produces growth in myself and in others. I’ve spent so long in the past worrying about whether my Christian faith would survive post beinginfulltimepaidministry that it’s kind of only just occurred to me that growth is happening, I am still here and each week as I sit with others and read more of the best book ever and talk to the Maker of the universe things are changing, people are growing in love and knowledge of him and so am I. I loved being reminded of that last night and this afternoon as I hung out with people from our church.
I wrote the following words about 2 months ago after one such time of meeting together. It was before a lot of things happened to increase the mess of this broken life. These words still hold true today. God is at work in this ordinary life, in an ordinary town with other ordinary people, and that’s pretty extraordinary.
It came like a refreshing bucket of water. Real Truth always seems to have that affect on me. It cut deep into my soul and made me want to jump up and down in agreement. It opened up the doorway to hope. We were reading 1 Peter 1, talking about hope in the hard times, talking about God bringing about good in the messy crap of life, talking about dealing with it all. The lovely Jo said, “it’s important to remember that life isn’t about fixing everything, making everything ok, we’re here to walk with God through the mess.” Words that when you read them might not seem like much but were as refreshing as ice cream on a sunny day (which by the way is what I love about words and language but that’s for another day…). It is crazy freeing to know that I don’t have to fix everything.
I can’t tell you how much I want to. I want my life to be smooth and easy, I want it to work out how I’d like it. I want to be able to react well to the things going on around us, I want to protect myself and the ones I love from the mess. I know it’s not a new thought that we can’t fix things in this life but it’s one of the old old ones that I needed to hear loud and clear today. Thank you Jo for saying it. There is so much deeper work going on under the surface of our lives. God is at work in the mess. We aren’t immune to the crap of this world and God isn’t about smoothing it all over to make it like a nice shiny macaroon from the Great British Bake Off (ahem), he’s about a bigger, greater plan and he is at work protecting our faith in the mess rather than from the mess.