As we have prepared for this Sunday’s 50 year celebration my role has been to research the churches history. This has meant meeting with people who were a part of the journey over the past 50 years to interview them. I have gotten to hear their stories and celebrate, laugh, even cry as we have reflected together on the journey God has taken this church.
In talking with people, I have discovered/been reminded of some wonderful truths: lessons that I believe each of us can carry with us as we do life.
Many of us have dreams and passions. We have goals we long to accomplish. But what makes one succeed where another does not?
One key ingredient is that ethereal quality – grit. Grit is persevering for a long-term goal. Of being passionate and committed and staying the course.
It’s the getting in and getting our hands dirty.
As I reflect on the stories I have heard, the grit in our history is seen in those who: turned up at 5:30am to setup up for church; did pick up runs to bring community children to Sunday school or refugees to church. People who so believed in the mandate God had given them they sold houses and moved regions. They gave up jobs to see the dream realised.
It wasn’t enough for them to ride the waves of the dream, they got down deep in the water, getting wet, pushing against the current and persisting in the moment by moment work. It was not glamorous work. Grit rarely is. But it was glorious. Glorious to be a part of something greater than themselves. Glorious to see God at work.
I want to be a person with grit, remembering it may not be glamorous but it is glorious. What about you?
As people shared with me almost without fail, the stories reflected the difference one person made. In a moment, in a season, it was the person who welcomed them, who sat with them in the season of grief, who prayed with them as they grew in faith, who included them in family life, who helped them settle into a new country. These are the things they remembered.
It was people in the everyday of life, using the gifts God had graced them with, that strengthened another on their journey. Paul talks about this in Ephesians 4:7, reminding us, “To each one grace is given as Christ apportioned.” You have a unique grace on your life, a gifting that is all yours, given by Father. It is yours to use to make a difference for Him.
I want to always be one who shares the grace I have been given with others, making a difference in this world. How about you?
None of this would be without God. He gives us the grace, the gifts we can use to make a difference. He takes the grit we invest and he more than multiplies it.
In the case of the story of this House it is God’s declaration, His call for what we are to be to this community that is important. I have learnt, through the history shared, that from the beginning God ordained that this House would be a place for people all across the world. Our second Senior Pastor Ron Baily remembers that in the early 1970s it was already “a league of nations”. Prophetic words in the mid 70s declared that we would be a hub with light coming out to the nations. God set the agenda and He brought the increase.
Without Holy Spirit where would we be? Without Christ crucified what message would we have to share? Without Father how would we even know what love is?
All that has happened is to His glory and His alone.
I want to be a person who never is without God…cause there is no without God if we are to live a life of destiny. All the grit and grace in the world is worthless without God.
God, grit and grace. Powerful!