Our Street Hope study and prayer time is growing. In early days there might be just two of us and sometimes just me but recently we have regularly been in the double digits. But that is not the real growth it is the ‘shadow growth’. The real growth is unseen to human eye, which has been our observation as we have been studying Hebrews 11 for the past couple of weeks. The emerging theme is to distrust what we see and look to the invisible. “Now faith is being sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The whole chapter is filled with illustrations of people who if they looked only at the things they could see (their outward circumstances) would have no hope but in the midst of these very trying circumstances they exercised faith in God. Moses is even regarded as exercising faith “for the sake of Christ”, who was yet to visibly come.
My friends as they gather each morning come with a wide range of difficult circumstances. It takes J. about 5 minutes each morning to list her health petitions to God. G. sometimes takes much longer! I admit to getting a bit impatient but my other friends are teaching me greater patience. J. and G. do not go on (and on) because they are verbose; they go on (and on) because they have a lot of difficulties and they are looking for God’s help in healing and sustaining them. Others have: health, accommodation, employment, or family problems. We have no shortage of things to complain about but there is no complaining! Each has come to that place where while they see the difficulties they are sure of their hope!
D. prays in thanksgiving for this place (read community) where he is loved and accepted despite his difficulties.
S. is grateful he has a place (community) where he can share his anxieties and find relief, a place where he can get up and leave without feeling judged when he has a panic attack. (These attacks are coming much less frequently.)
K. is grateful for a place (community) in which he can serve when all he served before was time!
B. is grateful for a place to learn about the Bible. He has known Jesus for a long time but now His word is making sense to him. He is grateful that he is making great strides at ‘being a citizen’.
These studies are very gratifying to me but they are not the main thing. The main thing is serving our Lord. This is when our faith in the invisible God is made visible to the world.
We are grateful that we are being transformed and together we seek to live it out. If I still taught at a Bible college I’d call this ‘incarnation’. Jesus most glorifies himself and His Father through his incarnation. We believe we are at our best and glorify God best when we serve; making the invisible visible.