I hope you don’t mind if I vent a little. While I always strive to be positive, and that is not hard because God is wonderful and continues to work wonderfully in his creation, things have been tough lately.
I had a conversation with God that went something like this. “God I did not sign up for this!” I sensed a reply “Yes, this is exactly what you signed up for.”
In the last year we saw a friend who has been a part of our life and fellowship for several years has turned away and slid so far it is hard to imagine a way back apart from a miracle, and of course we believe firmly in those! We watched him make great strides in his life and walk with God but his descent was painfully quick and the damage done to himself and others fills our hearts with grief.
Lately two folks from our community have experienced setbacks in their battle with addictions. Thankfully they seem to be finding their way back but they are filled with guilt and shame. We are working to move forward from this.
A good friend who had often attended our studies and played music at our services, took his life last Monday. Soon after I post this we will be attending his funeral. Life was hard for him but he seemed to be trusting God and moving on but one impulsive act has ended his walk and thrown a pall over our community. Next Wednesday we are having a special memorial service for him and planting a rose bush as a living memorial.
These are some of the more painful experiences we have had but this is not an exhaustive catalogue of discouragements. It feels like a kick to the stomach!
All this is the context to my conversation. I did sign up for this, when I invited God to make me more like Jesus. He “was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. Every day he witnessed and continues to witness people falling away or acting impulsively. Every day his followers bring a mixture of glory and ignominy to his name. He is keenly acquainted with heart break and yet hope is his home. His Kingdom is inexorably moving towards its fullness. Healing is on the horizon and hope is our home.
While it is good to vent, I cannot pitch my tent in this “slough of despond””. I will make hope my home and let him carry burdens too heavy for me. “Weeping may tarry through the night but joy comes with the morning”
To end positively, I do see God at work in me and my friends. Since street Hope is a faith based ministry, each time I am able to pay a bill I thank God that he provides. He is good! We are headed for the “Celestial City”.