I got this nice t-shirt from a friend and mentor. It’s a gift he has given as an investment into this Journey Fellowship, a church plant we are starting in Memphis. I am grateful for it…but it makes me think. Right now this is the most tangible thing we have to represent the dream of a new church.
We have no building, no new converts, no ministries…just this website, a dream and this t-shirt. As we (my family and a few friends) have been working on it, I have realized something interesting has begun to happen.
I have begun to pray more (Lord knows, I needed to do more of that). My faith has been stretched a whole lot. It’s the difference between walking on dry land and walking on water…it’s unknown and unprecedented. The exercise of this faith has caused me to trust God more.
I have doubted myself more. I am not as confident in my own ideas and plans. I am desperately seeking a clear direction from God. There is a searching to hear God’s voice and know God’s will that I haven’t experienced before.
My family is praying toward one goal in a way we haven’t before. My kids in their child like faith pray over this like they would to get a new toy at Christmas or get away from punishment when wrong. We have been reaching out to our neighbors to make friends in authentic ways.
I had a humbling thought today. What if after all of this…all this praying, all this seeking to know God’s way, all this family praying, all this reorienting of life to reach others, that this new venture never gets off the ground? Or what if it gets off the ground and sputters back to earth like a paper plane? What if this t-shirt is the most tangible thing I am left with after this Journey? Will it be ok?
After all, my relationship with God has gotten deeper. I have prayed like I have seldom done before. Could that be the real reward for all I am doing? Could getting closer to God and having a better relationship with Him be good enough for me?
I know your situation may be different. You may have been praying earnestly for a loved one to be healed. Your family may have gathered around that bed and called on the name of the Lord. And you know you have gotten closer to Him and to each other as a result. What if that’s the reward at the end even if the healing does not come?
What if the job you have been praying for, the financial blessing or the relationship that is tearing apart you have been seeking God for don’t turn out the way you are praying for? But you get so much closer to God..much closer than you ever dreamed or imagined you would be…would that be enough.
What if the goal isn’t what we started off with, but we end up with – a better, deeper relationship with God (and maybe a t-shirt)? Maybe you may be disappointed until you realized..you got more than you expected.