Isn’t it amazing how the Lord works?
Leslie came to me in November with an idea to take our students through the concept of God’s process of taking the brokenness of our lives and making it into something amazing–something beautiful. While the ‘Elephant in the Room’ concept had been in the works for some amount of time with the teaching team, I was welcomed into that group of amazing individuals a little over a month ago and became privy to the knowledge of this series of topics that we would be tackling as a church. SO awesome how what we have been doing with our students has complemented what we’re walking through together as a congregation.
I could tell you that we completely orchestrated the interweaving of EITR and Ashes to Beauty and planned to have them work together in our students and congregation, to bring all of us to our knees in brokenness (if we’re not there already), but to assure us that there is hope, and that is He is indeed working these things together for good. But…at least in initial planning…that wouldn’t necessarily be true. What I can assure you of though is the providence of God to make His power perfect in our weaknesses. In our brokenness. In our ashes. I believe wholeheartedly that He will do just that if we have ears to hear and are willing to allow the difficult and perhaps blunt things He is showing us right now to bring us to ashes. Scary and unpleasant as that sounds, just think, God will be glorified no matter what we say or do, even if we do not humble ourselves and obey. Think how amazing it will be for His glory to manifest through us in becoming something beautiful. If only we would humble ourselves and seek His face as we attempt to deal with our struggles.
If you find yourself covered in ashes with some of the discussions that we’ve been having (or will have in the coming weeks), I want to encourage you to trust Him with any pain or conviction that you might experience (whether it relates directly to what we’re talking about or not). When I say “trust Him,” I do not mean that you should verbally consent to giving your situation over to Him and sit idly waiting for Him to do something spectacular. While He is certainly capable of working that way if He elects to do so, typically we find that it’s not quite that simple. I believe that trusting Jesus is to be willing to lay ourselves bare before Him, to be completely and uncomfortably transparent with Him about what we’re struggling with, and to be willing to take awkward steps through the ashes to follow Christ to that beautiful place that only He can take us to. I also want to encourage you in knowing that you have an amazing and authentic church family in you midst that will come along side you and love you throughout this process–no matter how difficult it may seem.
Blessings and love to you, Journey family!