Less than one hour to go and I was standing on a wall in our garden, toys overflowing from my hands, frustrated tears running down my cheeks in front of three men, feeling very silly.
I was feeling silly not because I was crying in front of three men, who probably felt more uncomfortable than I did at the tears, but because I KNEW that the reason I was feeling so overwhelmed was the enemy. He was coming in and undermining me just before we began something new and was reminding me of all the stress in times past when our house was jammed full with children. The enemy was reminding me of the cost, and not of the prize, of course, and in that moment I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for the garden to be run down, toys to be broken and lost, diffusing childishness, cleaning up mess…
That was 9.45am this morning before the first service of our new season started in our house.
Of course, as I knew even standing there having my mini-tantrum at 9am, everything went fine (in fact, it went amazingly well!). But even as I took a moment after lunch to put a tired one year-old to bed 3 hours later than usual, I wondered if we would really have to do it all again next week. Did we really have to have gatherings in our house, or in fact, anywhere, ever again? Was it really worth it?
But then I asked myself: What else would we do? What else are we here in Peru for, if not to reach out to others. And I know that if it wasn’t the hurdle of having lots of children running around it would be something else. Nearly every time we advance in the kingdom there are emotional hurdles to jump first.
The birthing pains of breakthrough.
And I felt like the disciples when Jesus asked them if they too wanted to turn back, and all I can answer is: ‘Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life. I have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.’ And there is nowhere else to go but forward!
And chatting with a dear Peruvian friend this afternoon who is the trenches once again with her family situations, I am once again reminded that the Christian life was never meant to be comfortable – it is meant to be war.
And today, battle weary and in the trenches, one foot in front of the other, we are winning.