When I was in high school, I tried to learn to surf. The hardest part was swimming out, wave after wave, to the point where the waves break. Then I would try to catch a wave, which didn’t last long! Then I had to get back on my board and paddle out again. It was pretty tiring!
Sometimes life is rough, and it feels like paddling against the waves. Other times, it feels like riding on the wave of God’s blessing: He is doing the work; I just have to stay on the board and enjoy the ride.
Recently, it has been quite a ride in our church. We have been growing since December. We have a new Youth Pastor. Our kids, youth, and college ministries are growing. We had almost 300 people in church this last Sunday, and that is becoming more normal for us. We did a bunch of events this last weekend (17 events) and had over 150 people signed up. People are excited. The staff and some leaders are heading to a very exciting conference this weekend, called Thrive. We have Life Groups starting up and people are dreaming about the summer and fall and all God is going to do. He is faithful!
Personally, I got asked to write a big research project for the denomination, about church planting. I interviewed 71 people and wrote a really long (for me) report – almost 50 pages, single spaced. That was the “paddling out” part. My prayer was that the report would be heard and used, and I was invited to share the results with a bunch of church planting leaders in the denomination. That is the part where I “ride the wave.” God is opening up doors and it is exciting! OK, it is tiring too. But I would never want to miss this ride!!
I wanted to share this because it is important to remember the ride. When I learned to surf, the only reason I was paddling out was to ride the waves. Don’t miss the adventure; don’t miss the fun. Life can be devastatingly hard; there are rough seasons of life. Know that the Lord is with you, inviting you to experience the power of the wave and the joy of living in His love.