We have welcomed Captain Chaos and General Disarray into the building this week. They are causing trouble. Everywhere I go – they are there before me. Everything I try to accomplish, they are in my way. I feel like a bug in one of those sticky trap things, like I’m walking through treacle. But it’s making me think about things slightly differently and I’ve realized something … this is the hardest part.
We (in this case the word “we” means “a few dedicated workers not including myself”) have cleared the kitchen of EVERYTHING. And seriously it was like one of those old movies where about twenty people get out of a tiny car – you wouldn’t believe how much stuff was packed in there. The nursery has been emptied; the Sunday School cupboard purged, and all the things we are accustomed to are gone. It’s a bizarre, echoey vacuous space now.
This is the part where we’ve done everything we can do and now we just have to wait, trusting God that something amazing is coming, but not being able to see any evidence of it. Like when you pray for something, and you pray and you pray and you pray. And there’s nothing – no response, no change, no signal at all that you’re prayers are being answered or even heard. This is usually the point when I start to lose it. Doubt and fear creep in and I become aware of a slow growing coldness in the pit of my stomach and a voice somewhere deep within says “What have I done???”. I feel like I’ve just done the ‘whisk away the table cloth and leave the dinnerware in place’ trick – only to discover there was no table under the cloth after all. It’s quite pathetic how easily my faith is eroded.
But perhaps it’s not as simple as that. I still know all will be well. I’m still sure we’ll come through this process gloriously transformed. My heart forgets but my brain still insists this is true – or sometimes it’s the other way around. But as long as something, somewhere inside me is sure this will pass and we will have a greater capacity for ministry – well that’s what faith is isn’t it? It’s so exciting to watch God’s plan unfold and see where it leads us – this is a mustard seed moment.