As we in Abba House continue our week of prayer, I meditate on the grace that we are; I meditate on the awesome miracle of our very existence. We don’t usually marvel at what is, we simply accept that it is and project our hopes and aspirations on it, disappointed when we feel it has failed us, elated when it satisfies us. But we must learn to draw back and celebrate the existence of those things that we often consider to be a given. For instance, I marvel that God is, I marvel that God is the kind of Person that He is; were He to be the opposite of what He is, life would be unbearable. I marvel that faith exists, that we have the capacity to believe in God, that we are not condemned to vacillate in a dark, no man’s land of spiritual uncertainty. And I marvel at each of His works.
I marvel that Abba House is. I know better than anyone that it is an absolute miracle. I know better than anyone that no conceivable reason can account for it’s existence save that Father God in His infinite knowledge said ‘be’. And when He said ‘be’, it scared me, it terrified me, and I played dumb for a while. We do not exist because we have a great visionary leader, nor because we have a bold courageous leader, nor because a team of awesome, gifted individuals gathered and said let us…..Sometimes sanctimonious saints walk in and find fault with us, we encourage them to go where they will not have to tolerate the people and we are glad that we will not have to tolerate them. If only they knew. These diamonds used to be even rougher than they are right now. I think of the years, the close calls, the temptation to go another route, the siren calls of worldly success, and marvel at the persistence of God.
One day in the middle of my message I dropped to my knees, overwhelmed with gratitude that God had touched me, that somehow He had got through to me; I thanked Him for not giving up on me despite my junk, despite the years of blasting Bible and God, of mocking and jeering at believers; despite the years of cultivating unbelief in grand style. I know God is not vengeful; I am living proof of it. And each of us in Abba House has a story. For every plant that buds, it is a long road travelled for the seed put in the ground; the few saplings that we are were a long time germinating and coming forth; the seed carried the life within but did not reveal the saplings that would come forth; even so, the saplings that are now do not yet reveal the great forest that they shall become. But the same One who took a motley crew of God haters and called them into a church is steadily moving us to what He designed us to be before the foundation of the world.
One of my prayers as we embarked on this amazing adventure of church planting was that God would make us people who see the invisible and believe the impossible; agents of change and societal transformation; anyone who lives by that which is visible only cannot travel this road with us. In the meantime, we celebrate the fact that we are.