I eat fast food a lot, and I like it a lot. They say confession is good for the soul. Who I am kidding, I am not even ashamed, but openly admitting to it is already helping me feel better about the several visits I made on the weekend.
It’s because of this affection for grease that I found myself dizzy with dismay when I arrived at one of my favourite restaurants (I’m not sure you could classify it as a restaurant, but I do, just to make me feel a bit more classy and distinguished), and discovered it was undergoing some significant internal and external renovations.
Time stood still as I desperately searched for an entrance so that I could lay hold of those crispy golden nuggets. I don’t care how much chicken Jamie Oliver says is not in them, they taste too good. Name a better duo than that sauce and those little clouds of poultry… but I digress.
To my relief, I discovered a sign that said, ‘We are still open’.
This half-renovated, half-constructed building was still able to function at capacity. Sure, it might not have looked pretty, but it still produced the goods for all to enjoy!
This situation can be a timely reminder for us all. When we find ourselves in seasons of growth, challenges and struggles, we can tend to shut the doors and put up a sign ‘Come back in 6 months’. We may not want people to see the renovation of our lives, because it ain’t pretty. Perhaps we’d much rather everybody just see the finished product. But living and leading through crisis is something I truly believe God wants us to model for others.
It doesn’t have to look glamorous or refined for it to be used by God. It’s often the mess that God uses as the raw materials to build, renovate and restore our lives.
Over the years, I have observed some incredible leaders navigate difficult circumstances in their own personal lives and yet still have the capacity to lead and serve others. The fact that they were able to share so honestly and vulnerably and not shut themselves off in isolation is something I truly admire.
In a letter to a church, Paul wrote these words from a prison cell, ‘And I am certain that God, who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.’
For some of us, that good work that God started, began many years ago; for others only a short while. But whilst He continues to enlarge our capacity and renovate, let’s keep the doors of our lives open, so people can continue to see the incredible power of our God.
Now, all this blogging is making me hungry… anyone up for a burger?!