I wrote recently about hope, particularly as it related to my church's financial situation and my extended family situation here. Since then things have calmed down at home, thankfully. The kids are doing well and making big plans for Christmas. The boy seems to think he can make Christmas come by talking about it all the time. I guess that probably makes sense to a three year old. He is also trying that technique with getting extended TV time, also to no avail.
Since that old post we had a Congregational Meeting to discuss the financial goings-on of the church and the projected budget shortfall.We had about six categories from which we could cut. The rest of the budget is fixed, thanks to the price of utilities and such. It was a good discussion, and lots of people participated and felt they got to be a part of the conversation.
But, it was a hard discussion, and I've been feeling pretty discouraged. And then I went and did something to my back, perhaps pinched a nerve, perhaps pulled a muscle. Either way, I couldn't move for the whole of Tuesday night and am only now feeling marginally better. Ibuprofen and I have become fast friends, while I resist taking medicine most of the time.So I was generally feeling pretty sorry for myself.
Then the emails started pouring in. Someone offered to clean the church twice a month. Someone else offered to underwrite one line item in the budget. Someone else found a way for some of the utilities to be paid. It was frankly, sort of obnoxious of God. I mean, when you're having a good sorry-for-yourself moment, the least God can do is let you wallow in it, right?
But no, over and over God reminds me that I'm not alone in this, that it's not about how well I perform my job, that the ministry of my church is valid and thriving. We are not going to be a mega-church. And for that I thank God.But we are doing vital, important ministry which changes lives for the better. For that I thank God, too.
Yesterday I finally cleaned my craft desk. A small sentiment I had printed onto some cardstock a while ago was at the bottom of a huge pile. It read "When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." Fine, Jesus. I guess we'll do it your way. Thank God.