Yesterday, the day following our groundbreaking, the locust tree that stood at the future entrance to our new building was cut down. For some 60 years it stood tall and majestic at the top of the hill, a tribute to its own endurance. When I arrive at work this morning I know I will feel a sense of loss coupled with a sense of excitement. The symbol of our future church home will be gone and in its place piles of freshly turned earth representing a more tangible evidence of what is coming.
When Cynthia and I were sent out from Covenant Life Church in the summer of 1982 there was a prophetic word spoken over our lives that included the following verse,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
At the time I thought, “How appropriate. We are experiencing a death in leaving the church we love but good things are ahead.” Having lived here for the past 29 years I have come to realize that the dying part of the verse was to be a much more thorough and much more consistent part of my experience. In fact, I now believe, that the Christian life consists of many seasons of sacrifice, suffering and dying. For a long time I used to look for ways to avoid change and difficulty. Slowly, I have begun to embrace those times because I know that God is working his great purpose in my life and to bring greater glory to himself.
The tree is down . . . but something better is coming! I am still experiencing difficulty in life….but by His grace I am experiencing much more peace knowing that He is bearing much more fruit in my life for His glory.
I wonder what God’s next assignment of change will be? I wonder what fruit it will bring? How about you? Are you in the midst of challenging circumstances or painful change? Could it be that God is “smiling behind a frowning providence” while he seeks to bring about change in your life for His glory? If he is, you can be assured that better things are ahead for you.
“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 1:6