We have a lot going on, don’t we? When we began this year, we knew we’d be busy in 2019, but we had hoped it would be stuff that would mostly transform our “appearance” to the community. We wanted a fresh face for 2020, and our prayers focused on renewing Northside for the next decade or more. So, did hell break loose, or what? That’s an interesting metaphor for how some of our years have felt, but I don’t think it’s a good metaphor. I’d be more inclined to say the Kingdom of God has broken loose!! Let me explain.
Throughout history, some of the most challenging events ever recorded often resulted in a renewal that opened new doors of opportunity for the people who suffered through those difficulties. Just consider a few from the biblical story: Abraham and Isaac at Mt. Moriah, Moses in a reed basket, Israel’s travel to the promised land, David and Bathsheba, Jesus and the Cross, the church in Jerusalem being driven out and evangelizing the world to name a few. If you and I were in any of those historical moments, we would have prayed that God would end that difficulty before the renewal was able to be birthed. We, humans, are most often unable to see how our pain and difficulties can be redeemed and bring about something that we would eventually be very grateful for. That’s just human nature!
But here we are. We had begun the year praying for God to allow us to bring about a renewal for Northside. Admittedly, our idea of renewal may have been a bit short-sighted but look at God!! He’s answered our prayers and opened doors for us that we didn’t even know we needed to walk through at the time! As the year 2020 rolls around, we will not only have some of the broken stuff repaired, but we’ll have a new preaching minister, a clear vision of our future, a new shepherding group to help us navigate that future, and a restored relationship with people who were once members at Northside but who have gone from us at some point in the last 40 years.must confess, when I first started talking about 2020Vision, I had NO IDEA where God would lead that discussion!
I know some of you are still feeling miserable about it all. I’ve heard people grumbling about all the talk about “money,” and they see the Vision Wall at the back of our worship center as a testimony... that money is all we care about. If you feel that way, you don’t really know what’s going on around here. Our prayer for you is that God will awaken you to the exciting adventure He has laid out in front of us. In just over three months, a new decade will dawn, and Northside will be stronger than ever before! This community will have an advocate before God like never before. But we’re not there yet. We still need your help!! We have a TON of activities already in the works, and we need volunteers. We have a TON of envelopes still holding on to that Vision Wall, and we need your help!! Don’t see the glass as half-empty, see the glass as too small for all that God has in store for us! And may you be blessed by hearing God say someday, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”