Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Life-sustaining Water

My God is faithful. Frustratingly beyond working out, yes, but faithful. And I am so thankful.

I am forever blessed by the church plant He has me involved in here in Göteborg for this season in life. Missional, authentic, genuine. We've called it 'Brunnen' which in Swedish means, "The Well". The well in Bible days was the meeting place in a community, a place of fellowship. A well is also where one can find life-sustaining water. I think that as the body of Christ, doing church together should feel like life-sustaining water...

We meet bi-weekly for a church service which helps refresh the faith in me-- and I think this is what meeting together as the Church was always meant to do. And we also break into little accountability groups-- prayer groups, really-- once a week. We call this DNA-- Discipling, Nurturing, and Accountability. DNA with my girls (there are 3 of us) brings the broken bits in me back together. I find this kind of authentic sharing of lives and hearts is to me the tangible touch of God in this aching world.

And I am so thankful.

Sometimes His beauty catches me unaware. Tonight after sharing lives, hearts, a meal, and prayer with my awesome friend and one of the leaders of our precious church plant, I took a walk with God across the Göta Alv under the stars. The city line on the shore of the river coming in from the North Sea was glowing against the inky black sky. And as the bitingly cold wind rushed over me, I found rest there in His presence on the bridge-- cars, trams, and buses bustling by.

Tonight after I'd poured out my heart to my dear DNA friend, we prayed, and as we prayed the song playing was saying, "It's only temporary, it's only temporary." I keep calling this time of processing my grief over church gone wrong and the way I feel so damaged by it sometimes "a season." Only a season. It won't always feel this open and raw and ambiguous and heavy. It was as if God was just laying a hand on my shoulder and reassuring me in common words, "It's only temporary, love. Keep working at this. You'll see. You'll come out the other side."

And one simple evening, over one simple meal, with down-to-earth, "this is really what's inside my head" conversation, He graces me with renewed strength for the journey. It is Who He is. This gracious, this strong, this faithful.

And I stand on the bridge overlooking the murky waters to the shining shore in awe.
So thankful to belong to this faithful God.

I'm not only wishing you strength for your journey, friend; I'm telling you where to find it.
As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.
 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
   When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”
These things I remember
   as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
   under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
   among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:1-5


Emmie said...

So glad that He has refreshed you so through the Well! Reminds me of how much I need to get involved in a small group here. Love that Psalm.:)

Gabi Dickinson said...

I was listening to a sermon the other day and at one point the Pastor said something so beautiful that I thought you'd like it. He was speaking of the part in Ephesians where your blog gets its name from- is it chapter four? Well anyway! The Pastor said that we are all un-finished masterpieces that His intention for the church is that each member should be speaking to one another the poetry of God over their lives(as in encouragement and truth and love). I just loved the way he explained that :)

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