Today I would like to share with you all an article I wrote for my church. Canyonview Vineyard Church has been doing some truly amazing and wonderful things in the Grand Junction Co community. With this crazy year that we have had my church congregation has gone above and beyond. They have put together food distributions for shut ins, we have a mobile food truck every Sunday, and have opened up more service times so we can attend in person. We also have a vast array online tools for those who still don’t want to attend in person. Finally they have also put together a website that will help out single moms and foster families out single moms and foster families. Obviously, the later is incredibly close to my heart being a single mom myself. Below is an edited version of what my church published. You can find the original link here. Also, check out the Heaven 2 GJ web page!
Allowing Tension to Build the Kingdom
“The gap between vision and current reality is also a source of energy. If there were no gap, there would be no need for any action to move towards the vision. We call this gap creative tension.” ~Peter Senge
How Do You Move?
Most of us, even in our adult lives, look toward a certain future. We all have hopes and dreams that change and cast us as we are constantly moving in a certain direction. As we move in this direction, we are also constantly being tested with roadblocks. These roadblocks are put there to strengthen us in our faith and bring the kingdom out in all of us.
I am a single mom. My journey looks different from those around me. It is filled with different roadblocks than those of you who are married, those of you who are single, those of you without kids and even other single moms around me. But my journey, like everyone’s, has been filled with roadblocks that have tested my patience, my heart and my faith.
Even Jesus constantly moved toward his ultimate purpose, becoming our sacrifice and redeemer. We are in such good company! Jesus moved toward the cross and navigated his own roadblocks along the way. Unlike us, Jesus knew what His end goal would be. He went to the cross knowing that He was bringing the kingdom of Heaven to earth.
The Kingdom is Now
When Jesus met his fate, He tore the veil between us and the Holy Spirit: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27: 50-51 ESV). By this action we are allowed to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us and help us on our journey.
Most of what I have been through is the product of my own choices and not listening to God. I did not have a faith based upbringing and never saw many consequences to sin. However, if I never experienced these consequences and pain, I would never have fallen to my knees and begged God to take it all away. Without guilt and shame, I would have never found God. It is this realization that allows me to use my past faults to help others have fewer roadblocks and to overcome the ones they do face.
My life gives me a chance to show others that the kingdom of God is within me. What an amazing gift God has given us! I can than pour the kingdom out into others. I could have never have done this before finding the Holy Spirit. The kingdom is at hand for me because of the life choices that I have suffered through.
No pain, no gain!!!
Everyone has heard this and most of us have rolled our eyes at the thought of this. Or perhaps, you think this only applies to a physical transformation . However, I can attest that suffering and pain develops spiritual character. Endurance in our suffering deepens our faith. Romans 5: 3-5 states: “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”.
Sometimes our lives can feel like watching a movie with a bad plot line and no point. But there is a point to everything we go through! We just can’t see the end through the messy plot line. To put it in a more cliche way, we are walking in a great forest. The trees are so thick we can see only them. However, the more we walk forward, the more we can see of the forest. Sometimes there are little clearings where we can see farther ahead but than the trees start again. Eventually, when we are with Jesus we will come out of the forest and not only see what is on the other side of the trees but look out over the forest as a whole!
God has called me to be a single mom for this season of my life. This is not an easy road to walk and the choices that I sometimes have to make can present a heavy burden. But I rejoice in this season even though I know I am barely through and there will be more hardship because in this season I am able to share how God is working through me. God always provides and is always there! I am so blessed to walk through a troubled time knowing that not only am I not alone but that Jesus will carry me when I feel like I just can’t walk anymore!
We go to bed every night knowing no matter how dark out it is that we will wake up to a new morning and a sunrise. What if we did this for all of our problems? What if we put them to sleep by allowing Jesus to take them? Then we can wake up to a bright new morning. We can wake up to Jesus!
Yes it is hard. Yes it hurts. But God sends us on these journey’s to find Him so that we can than bring Him to others. He works through us and that is such an amazing feeling! Today I would challenge everyone to find something that has been a source of pain or regret in your life and give it up to Jesus (even if you have previously done this). Then I want you to think and pray on how this can help someone else. Finally, I want you to go out and live it! Reach out to someone else who is hurting, use something you have learned to help someone less fortunate, be the hands and feet of Jesus! This is how we will bring the Kingdom to Grand Junction!
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