For Sunday’s ground breaking celebration, instead of the clear weather we prayed for the Father ended our drought with a resounding 2 1/2 inches of rain. Since the 100% chance of rain had still not arrived by the time we began the 8 AM service, I thought God had answered the way we wished but….
Despite the rain, cold and wind, people soon lined up at the canopies for hardhats for the kids, prayerwalking maps, and index cards. Arranging themselves around the painted perimeter of the future ministry center and parking lot, people began to walk the outline (see pics http://www.facebook.com/keystoneparadise). I couldn’t help thinking of Joshua and his company encircling Jericho. As people walked they asked God for things like “Keep us on mission” or “Provide volunteers for ministries” or “Keep us unified throughout this project” or “Make us friendly to those who enter our doors”. Each person who passed by the hole the excavator had dug where the baptistry will be, dropped a card with the names of those in need of Jesus. It was a moving sight.
Reassembling, we cried out to God to save those people–and use us in the process. Then we refilled the hole. Youth Pastor Brandon reminded us of our vision to reach the Next Generation, the put a lot of that generation on the rope lines to pull the 1880’s style plow Brandon steered. The furrow was long and deep. It did have a hook at the end that I thought maybe we could improve upon. But when I drove it with those older than the next generation pulling, there was no doubt: we’d been outclassed. Not straight at all, not so deep at times; a rather pathetic furrow in all honesty.
We hope to begin moving dirt in May and it’s exciting. But why? To have something new? To have something bigger? No, to have something useful. This building will one day pass away. God and His Word will not. Those He’s redeemed will not. Nor will those who aren’t redeemed.
As our district superintendent reminded us Sunday morning, this building is nothing more or less than a tool for God to use to expand and deepen His kingdom. To use in rescuing people from darkness and to use in driving the roots of faith down deep for Christians. …so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other (1 Kings 8:60).