I am sure that many people have gone through that tough period of time when it seems impossible to move ahead with your vision. Weeks can turn to months and months to years when circumstances don’t permit you to be proactive. It can at times be discouraging to continue to dream about something that appears to have no potential of ever happening. Too much time in the starting blocks can cause us to lose sight of what could be and what should be.
Aristotle said, “A soul never thinks without a picture” and in the Bible, “without vision the people perish” (Prov 29:18). To achieve what seems impossible we have to have a clear mental picture of what could be, fuelled by the conviction that is should be. The Chapel project has at times lacked momentum because we failed to feed the soul with a picture of what could be. However, time has allowed us to distinguish between good ideas and a vision worth giving all for. The last three years or so have given us the opportunity to examine our emotions and sort out minor concerns from the major ones. After all, we have discovered that God is the one who determines the schedule. Proverbs 16:9 states that in a man’s mind he plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
When Nehemiah had a clear vision of the restoration of Jerusalem, he prayed that he might find favour so as to gain the resources to achieve the vision. Over the last 8 weeks or so, we have witnessed answers to prayer as we have witnessed God’s favour at work, through the extraordinary generosity of so many. Over £100,000 has been deposited into the building fund, added to what had already been given. Phase 1 of the chapel project can commence with the realistic prospect that we will be in the Chapel by mid-December 2017.
I often stood outside the building wondering if we would ever fulfil what was set before us, and at times wondering if we had taken a wrong turn at some point. However, feelings of despair were replaced with tears of joy and thankfulness as I stood and observed the scaffolding being erected to start the major roof works. Added to this, a team of volunteers from the church, armed with shears, garden forks, chainsaws, and other gardening paraphernalia set about clearing the garden which resembled a jungle more than a garden. There was an air of anticipation of what will be as people began to drag out past neglect to reveal a clear blank canvas ready for us to make our mark on it.
Now it begins, dreams are beginning to become reality, anguish and frustration are replaced with joy and thankfulness.
“And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” (Isaiah 58:12)