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Don’t Despise The Waiting

..for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 65:23b-24

In 2012 Heather and I moved back from Japan, and a few months after landing we felt God deposit something of a love for Chatswood in our hearts.

In 2020 we felt God rekindle that love, and begin igniting in us a heart to serve a local church there.

…it’s amazing how many times in scripture we read of years passing between God’s initial word to someone, before the fulfillment of the word.

One thing we felt strongly about was being the kind of church that the city wanted around…that if we were to ever shut down or move on, the community would say “No! Please don’t go, you do so much good here!”

…but we didn’t really know where to start. We wanted to be a practical blessing to the city, but we didn’t have strong connections or networks in the area.

Then someone we had a loose connection with put a call out for a double pram for a family moving from an unhealthy environment into safer accommodation, the same week that Heather and I had spoken about getting rid of our double pram which was collecting dust in the garage. I responded to the request, and when I met the lady, it turned out she was the Chairperson of the Board for a Women’s Refuge just down the road from church in Chatswood, and in desperate need of practical help. Coincidence? I think not...

All of a sudden that verse (above) that God responds to His people even before they call on Him, came alive to me. God knew what was in our hearts, and even though I’d not even begun carrying it before Him in prayer, He still made a way!

I was initially a little hesitant because our heart was for somewhere we could invest on a long-term basis, and the backyard blitz seemed likely to just be a once off…but 3 years and multiple working bees and projects later, we have become the people Women & Children First call when they need helpful hands and generous hearts. And it’s an absolute God-given-privilege to be so.

We wish they didn’t need to exist, but as long as they do, we want them to be recipients of the blessing that we’ve had so richly bestowed on us.

I posted on our WhatsApp recently a photo of Chris Ryburn installing some hanging hooks for school bags at the Refuge.

In case the Refuge didn’t have any screws Chris brought along a selection of old ones from his shed. And when I say old ones, I mean these screws had been waiting decades. There was something beautifully poetic about him using screws he’d brought across the Tasman from New Zealand some 40 years ago just in case he needed them at some point.

God knows our hearts, the good and the bad. And as Boris said on Sunday, even when things don’t happen as quickly or how we hoped, even when we’re not being used as we’d like, we can have absolute confidence that God is doing the deep work of formation in us - He cares much more about what He’s doing in you, than through you.

Don’t despise the waiting…for the days of God’s fulfilment are like the sweetest of fruit.



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