There is nothing like visiting your home town to be reminded of where you have come from, and what was being sown into your life when you didn't realise it.
The photo above is me standing outside Christ Church, an Anglican church in Ellerslie, Auckland, New Zealand. This is the church my mother took me to when I was a child. It was here that I played the pipe organ (badly) at Sunday services. It is the place where I first experienced the church embrace the community at large.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand. Zechariah 4:10 NLT
It is the church where I started to develop by own relationship with Jesus, before in my late teens becoming immersed in the world of marxist feminist teaching at University.
Now I am the mum of teenage children navigating their own faith journey. So as we drove around my home town of Auckland, God gently reminded me that I am also the mum who went into the spiritual wilderness for about six years before returning to the place of acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Amazing Grace.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
God also reminded me of all the seeds that were sown in my life when my mother regularly took me to church when I was a child, all those years ago.
Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life. Proverbs 22:6 TPT
Seeds of God's truth and love that took root in my heart and have grown and bloomed in various ways over the years. Seeds that illustrate so clearly to me that God always goes before us, and He always has a plan.
It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm]. Deuteronomy 31:8 AMPC
One beautiful autumn afternoon while I was in Auckland, God reminded me of another way that He had prepared me for my future. I was blessed that afternoon to go sailing on the Hauraki Gulf with my father on his boat. For those who enjoy a fast exhilarating sail, this was not their afternoon. Rather it was an afternoon of contemplation as the yacht ambled along in the glorious sunshine, occasionally making 3 knots!
As we circumnavigated an island in the gulf I started to reflect on all that the sailing adventures of my youth had taught me, and how those lessons had helped me over the years.
One of those lessons that stood out was patience. On the sail that afternoon we had the option of turning on the motor and increasing the speed to 6 knots. But neither of us wanted the chug chug chug of the diesel engine to ruin the serenity of the quiet slapping of the water against the hull. Remember we were only probably averaging 2 knots! So we persevered with the sailing, although it really wasn't that painful!
Sometimes in life we don't have any other options (like turning on the diesel engine), to 'improve' the situation. We have to be patient and trust that God's got this. He is the Alpha and Omega.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Revelation 22:13 NKVJ
We have to trust that He is Lord of all, and He is always working in our lives. A truth that God very clearly reminded me of during the past 10 days when visiting my home town.
I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ! Philippians 1:6 TPT
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