Tough times can make great teams. At the start of the year a team went to Port Augusta for the Aboriginal Evangelical Convention to run the kids program. It wasn’t always an easy time. There were challenges with the accommodation, organisation, heat, team dynamics. But we knew what we were doing was worthwhile. The kids were fantastic, and we saw God work through us. After a few days of tough service on a worthy cause, the team grew in friendship.
I feel this year has been like that. Tough times have tested us. We have been brought together because our efforts for one another matter. This has been true in our community. We have seen it in the community support of neighbours, schools, front-line health workers. This has been true in our church. We may have surprised ourselves with our flexibility, our capacity to connect, and our energy for significant change.
At my low points in the year, I noted we have seen ‘too many losses, not enough gains’. I am wrong on two accounts. There have been important gains. I have seen growth in people, prayer, our staff and church leadership, our clarity. I have seen people exploring faith, finding faith. I am also wrong as I called the loss too early. There is short term pain, but in the long term I have every hope we will see kingdom gain. This year has shaped us and built strengths for our future. Tough times can make a great church!
Psalm 126 holds hope in God’s favour for his people. It sees in the reversal of fortune, God’s hand. It believes there can be hope, even in terrible challenge. Verse 5 declares, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” As we look to a new year, I believe this is our hope too.
(Photo by https://grovechurch.org.au)