Guest post by Sophie Toovey who, along with her husband Andy and beautiful baby Megan have joined us at Hill City Church with a view to us sending them to plant a church in Garndiffaith in the near future. They’re a great family and this is a great post. Hope it helps you. (Sophie blogs here.)
I love this time of year because even though it’s usually pretty dingy and dreary, my garden begins to stop being an ugly wilderness of dead plants. Tiny green shoots appear amidst all the brown twigs on the ground, and soon some beautiful spring flowers will start to appear.
We all know the seasons and live by them each year- we know (roughly) what to expect when. But the problem is that we start to expect everything in life to go just as we expect or as we plan… following our agenda.
Over a year ago, we received a clear call from God to go and plant a church in Garndiffaith. We put our house on the market, told all our friends and family, sent out a lot of prayer emails… And we’re still waiting for something to happen! We’re waiting to sell our house, for the doors to open for us to actually get there and start things up. But the thing is, God works to His agenda, not to ours.
We’ve been reading a brilliant book for urban church planters called ‘Taking our Cities for God‘ by John Dawson, who worked in LA. He’s fantastically honest about all the ups and downs of their ministry, and a recurring theme is that God doesn’t do the predictable; He’s the God of the unexpected! Dawson encourages us to pray and wait on God instead of just making plans and striving to achieve them.
In our time of waiting, I have felt most convicted about who I’m doing all this for. Am I ambitious for my glory, or for God’s? Am I building mykingdom, or His? When you’re forced to wait for God to move, it humbles you. It reminds you that God doesn’t work to your agenda- He has His own, far more brilliant plan. As hard as it is right now to keep sending out emails saying ‘no news on the house’, this is just a season. And it’s a season of God’s grace just like any other, even if it looks more ‘barren wilderness’ than ‘blooming beauty’.