As our church family prepares to vote on borrowing money for our building project this coming Sunday, my heart is filled with hope. Sure, there are butterflies in my stomach because, let’s face it, we are talking about 4.7 million dollars. That’s A LOT of money, y’all.
As I think about this journey our church has been on, my mind wanders back to September 13, 2015. For those of you who weren’t around back then, that was the Sunday that we officially cast our vision for our future ministry center and kicked off our Immeasurably More sermon series. Early that morning, Carolyn Noble was headed over to our land and spotted a rainbow in the sky. As she got closer to our property, she found that the rainbow was actually touching our land! Still, to this day, it feels like that was a sign from the Lord reminding us of His promises and His faithfulness. That morning, as Jeff delivered our vision, he reminded us that we cannot do this, but God, who is capable of immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, can do it! And that became our theme for this building… Immeasurably More.
During this time, I was awestruck because I was finally pregnant. My husband, John, and I had prayed for a baby for what felt like forever and the Lord heard and answered our prayers! As we began our way through the Immeasurably More sermon series (which was incredible, by the way), we had just received some difficult news about our baby girl. The doctor saw something on our ultrasound that caused concern for her health. The Sunday after we got the phone call from the doctor, the message was titled Immeasurably More Hope. As I sat in church, I was broken and frustrated with butterflies in my stomach and racing thoughts in my head about the health of our child. I listened to Jeff read the story about the bleeding woman and Jairus (Luke 8:40-56) and how, in their desperation, they turned to Jesus. We closed the service that day with a song by Elevation Worship called “Your Promises.” While tears streamed down my cheeks, I could barely bring myself to sing these lyrics:
Doesn’t matter what I feel,
Doesn’t matter what I see
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me.
Now I’m casting out all fear
For Your love has set me free
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me.
I felt angry. I felt hurt and even betrayed. I felt abandoned. But above all, I was afraid for our baby. You see, I was putting my hope in the baby that the Lord had blessed us with and not the Lord Himself. During the sermon, Jeff challenged us to take a baby step forward and trust Him. After the service was over, as Jeff prayed with me, I laid my anger, my hurt, and my fear at the foot of the cross and decided that I was going to trust in His promises. Almost two years later, I have a healthy, happy, and energetic one-and-a-half year old girl. It seems so small now, when I look back on the details of our circumstances then, but that smallness is because we serve a BIG God who really is capable of immeasurably more than all that we can ask or imagine. All we have to do is trust Him.
As I think about this upcoming vote, I find myself feeling awestruck yet again. We are one-and-a-half years into our building campaign and the Lord has faithfully provided 1.8 million dollars for this project… 1.8 million dollars. That is more than we expected to raise in three years!
We can get so bogged down in the details and the what ifs surrounding this project and the circumstances of our lives in general that we fail to see what blessings have already fulfilled the promises of the Lord. This building project has never been about a building itself. It has been about our spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus as we walk along this journey. It has been about living sacrificially so we can spread the name of Jesus throughout the nations. It has been about finding our hope, love, contentment, commitment, grace, sufficiency, and joy in Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine. This building project has never been about us… It is and always will be about Jesus.
My prayer for my Northstar family as we prepare to vote on borrowing money for our building campaign is that we would focus our hearts on the promises of the rainbow that shined down on our land back in September 2015, that we would trust in our Immeasurably More Father in Heaven to continue to provide for us in big, unimaginable ways, and that we would get our hopes up.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21