This picture showed up on my facebook time hop recently:
Eight years ago on a Sunday morning, Jason was teaching 4 children in a middle school band room. This particular Sunday in August, right before the official launch of our church, is known as ‘the time no one showed up.’
We had selected a few Sundays during the summer to have preview services leading up to our launch date in September. We had been holding Sunday evening services at a different location and had been gathering with a few families during the week at our Bible Study. The June and July preview services went great – we had some guests visit as well as the families that we had already connected with over the past year we had been in Washington.
Our anticipation was building as we looked forward to the fall and the official launch of the Commons. We set up the church one Sunday morning in August of 2008. We unloaded a trailer, set up pipe and drape to turn a middle school hallway into a foyer and a library into a preschool and a gym/lunchroom into a sanctuary. We made coffee and we waited.
No one showed up.
We were discouraged, to say the least.
We had been ready. We had been obedient to do what the Lord had called us to do.
But no one showed up.
A month later, several families came to our launch. They came back and they brought their friends. In time, the Lord filled that middle school gym with people and the band room with elementary kids and we eventually outgrew the library because we had so many preschoolers.
I happened to be reading through the book of Joshua last week and this verse lept out at me:
Think back and you will know without a doubt that not one single good thing that the Eternal One, your God, promised you has been left undone. Not a single one. Joshua 23:14, The Voice Bible
I thought about that picture from eight years ago. And I was also reminded of when I couldn’t get pregnant with a second child and the Lord said to me, “You and Jason will raise spiritual children.” And then He called Jason to children’s ministry and me to preschool ministry.
And now, all these years later in Austin, Texas, alongside an amazing team of volunteers, we are able to lead and teach over a hundred children each Sunday morning.
I still think about that Sunday – the one where no one showed up. I believe God was teaching us to trust Him more. He was stretching our faith and developing our character.
Maybe we were the only ones who were supposed to show up.
That Sunday prepared us for our move to Seattle where we would try to plant another church and spend two years waiting for someone to show up. Honestly, there were days we wondered if God Himself were still around. I learned that my obedience and my faith would not always immediately yield fruit, but they would dig roots.
I am still learning to wait on God.
But now, I can look back and know without a doubt that not one single good thing that the Eternal One, my God, promised me has been left undone. Not a single one.
I write this to remind myself and maybe anyone else that needs to hear – He is faithful. While some of the things the Lord has promised have come to fruition, others have not. There are still dreams in the making and visions yet to be revealed.
Let’s keep going, you and me. Don’t worry whether or not anyone else will show up.
You show up, and I’ll show up. Even on days when our feet seem heavy or the path before us is dark and we can only see enough light to take the next step. Let’s do the thing The Eternal One, our God, has called us to do.
Because one day, when we are on the other side of eternity, we will look back and see that not a single good thing He promised us will be left undone.
Not a single one.