Circumstances constantly remind me that the Go and Grow project is really challenging. Almost daily we are confronted by fresh issues to be resolved. The relentless grind of overcoming hugely difficult obstructions is wearing, but we are heartened by seeing God continue to lead us forward despite the struggle. And this struggle is only to be expected, because Go and Grow is the most ambitious church development project I have ever come across. Not only are the forces of economics, planning, and entrenched opinion ranged against us, but I believe the devil himself is keen to actively oppose us. But this is not a cause for us to wobble; a great work is bound to involve great struggles.
Nehemiah, the celebrated builder of the walls of Jerusalem, faced opposition from those who said: “their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed”, he countered that by praying “Now strengthen my hands” (Neh 6:9).
A few weeks ago I showed a fellow vicar friend around Solar House after he expressed an interest in the project. On arriving at each floor he simply shook he is head saying “Oh my goodness” over and over again. The sheer size of the building, seen through fresh eyes, was overwhelming. His reaction gave me a renewed objective glimpse into the enormity of what we have embarked on.
In my heart I echo the assertion of Nehemiah when he responded four times to those who would distract him: “I am carrying on a great project” (Neh 6:3).
And so we carry on.