About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. ~ Acts 12:1-5
In the midst of the birth of a church...
Sometimes it seems as if things are finally going your way...
The stars are aligned.
The Spirit is moving.
And then tragedy strikes.
Everything is thrown out of whack.
One of your leaders is killed. Another put in prison.
How do you recover?
On a smaller scale isn't this what happens in our churches everyday? In our homes everyday? In our lives everyday?
No path is without it's stumbles. And sometimes those stumbles seem insurmountable. When I was in Seminary, almost finished, on a path I thought was the one I was supposed to be on, I found out I was pregnant at an advanced age. And then I had a miscarriage.
It seemed to unfair.
Wasn't I doing what God called me to do?
Wasn't God's work supposed to unfold smoothly?
Everything was thrown out of whack.
God's journey with God's people has been happening for thousands of years. And along the way, even the best of plans were often thwarted.
And yet we recover. We go on. God picks us up again and we begin again.
Whatever stumbles have tripped you up. Wait. Pray. Rest. Hope.
And see what God has in store next!
Lord, remind me that life unfolds on your timetable, not mine! Amen