Yesterday was another amazing day for the Go and Grow project. Looking at some of the architects’ plans made the project come alive as we started to envisage what the church might feel like in this new building. Then in the afternoon we had a project board meeting that I had not been looking forward to. Before the meeting we prayed that a positive way ahead could be found, and that is exactly what happened, almost to the extent of sensing a tide turning in favour of the scheme. The day was capped off by a productive and cheerful standing and finance committee meeting.
This venture has always been a walk of faith and no more so than right now. It is necessary for us to push full steam ahead before we have certainty on quite a number of issues. So we are stepping out and committing ourselves financially, and legally, while knowing that humanly there is still a significant risk that the whole project will come crashing down like the proverbial house of cards. Even the upbeat launch of Go and Grow was a step of faith as we have not yet exchanged contracts on the purchase of Solar House (although hopefully that is now very close). Last week at one meeting with the Archdeacon (I had more than one with him!), he read Psalm 127: 1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Perhaps this appears like an obvious text to cite in the circumstances, but it hit me with fresh force. The last season has involved quite bit of “toiling” for me, Hannah Parker and Richard Greeves (the three of us make up the project board for St Bs), and it was a salutary reminder that all our efforts are without consequence, unless it is God working through us. However it was the end of verse 2 that particularly struck me: The Lord grants sleep to those he loves. This is a verse that I know and love and have often quoted, but for some reason I had completely forgotten that comes in the context of the Lord building the house. Sometimes when we are facing huge, stressful and intractable problems we go to bed with our minds still racing. Worrying seems to be becoming practically a national pastime. How different is the walk of faith, where we know that not everything depends on us and that we serve someone who is going to fulfil his plans with or without us. Of course we are called to play our part, but if we trust in our wonderful benevolent Father God, we are able to rest easy in the sure knowledge that everything will be all right. That is why Jesus, in the midst of a furious storm, to the consternation of the disciples, was in the stern of the boat sleeping on a cushion (Mark 4:38).
Tonight, in faith, I hope to sleep well.