Our little church plant is growing. Not only are we outgrowing our meeting place, but we are growing up spiritually as well. We are learning that God gets things done through suffering, that he purifies and refines through hardship. We are learning to experience joy in the grace and provision of Christ, in all things. It is hard but it is good.
Yesterday, I had the privilege to be one of the first people to see our pastor's newest child, Ori Betts. Just a few hours old, I held this sweet baby girl as friends swapped birth stories with the new mom. It was celebratory and awesome- a family thanking God for His care and blessing.
After I visited K and her new baby, I headed across town to visit my friend M and her husband D. She is 24 weeks pregnant and on bed rest in the hospital after a procedure to close her dilating cervix ended in her water breaking. It has been a week and despite the lack of amniotic fluid, the baby's heartbeat is good and mom is free from infection. Everyday that goes by without a delivery is a blessing. We, as a church family, along with M and D, live one day at a time, praying that God will sustain mom and baby. It has been a hard week for us a church family, as we have walked alongside M and D in their uncertainty, in their suffering. It's harder to find the joy in the fear and the unknown- it's much easier to rejoice when you are holding a healthy bundle of joy in your arms.
As I talked with M yesterday, she shared what God has been teaching her, how he has been refining her. She talked about how it is more the fear of the suffering that is hard, the not believing that she will be able to handle whatever happens. But, as things began to unfold last weekend she found that God provided the exact grace she needed to face the uncertainty of each day. She is learning to trust Him and praise Him for His faithfulness. What a blessing.
As a church we are growing in our faith. We are learning that God's faithfulness and blessing come in ALL things- the lines of "good" and "bad" are becoming blurred. We weep together in the hardship because it is hard to see people you love suffer but we weep also because we see God's goodness more clearly in suffering. We celebrate new life and new eyes of faith, sometimes in the same day. It is hard but it is good- because He is good.