Courage and Community
‘At Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.’ (Lk 1:41)
At the same time that angel Gabriel announced Mary’s unusual pregnancy, he invited her into solidarity with her barren elder cousin Elizabeth. ‘Even Elizabeth is having a child’ (Lk 1: 36) he said as Mary pondered her own fate. God knew the ‘conflicts on the outside, and the fears within’ (2 Cor 7:5) that awaited the two. He provided a partner for each. For those of us called to bear the impossible, community is required.
Last month in France, the pace and peculiarity of what God required of me caused me to hit a wall. I surrendered quietly, and waited for release. My beloved colleague Werner spoke up and said: “Last night [after our meeting] I felt weary and doubtful and asked God: ‘What am I doing here?’” His words echoed my thoughts and took the sting out of them.
For years now, Werner and I have shared a passion for restoring the sexually broken. So his expressed struggle has authority. I know his battle; he gets mine. It is ours. We walked through the impasse together.
Last week, the Desert Stream staff had a series of devotional prayer times for Advent. Lori Butler shared poignantly of her season of waiting for God in some prolonged battles. Reduced to God, she was also reduced to a new level of reliance upon us. Her evident emotion touched all of us deeply and actually exposed an area of battle in which I was stuck.
God prompted me to confess that area before the staff. They prayed for me, and God did nothing short of a miracle. He birthed a solution. Immediately, I experienced an expectancy and courage that had eluded me for months.
Community delivers the goods for those called to bear the impossible.