Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gains And Losses

It started a long time ago. First it was keys. Later it was glasses. Once or twice it has been the car. I get a new phone and spend a week (or three) apologising as I cut people off mid-call or accidentally dial them 15 times. I signed up for twitter and linkedin and haven’t worked out what and how to make use of them… yet.

I grunt when I get up off the ground. I danced all night at the U2 concert and spent days recovering. I spend all night writing something and need two days to get the fuzz (and caffeine) out of my head. I am now 50.

Michael (my husband) and I started into ministry life in our twenties. We had tons of energy, loads of passion and determination to follow the Spirit at any cost. We experienced the best and the worst of ministry in those first decades.

People coming to Christ, beautiful encounters with God, growth and engagement with our community.  And we experienced criticisms, demands, betrayals and accusations. We were lonely and we were surrounded by beautiful people. We were rich in so many ways and yet trusting God for money for bills and survival. What a rollercoaster.

As we farewell youth and head into mid life (which I read ends at 67 now) it is on the wings of experience.

“…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

Yes, I have traded a little agility of mind and body for great hope that grows. Time following Jesus deepens the knowledge that God is great. We have gained our own story of his faithfulness.

To you guys and girls just starting out: It’s a good life with God and his people, so persevere.

To those of you going through the battles right now, your perseverance will build character. You will find a deep seated hope filling your heart. An understanding - that God is great, and that God is faithful. We are companioned and enfolded by him in everything. Yep, everything.

The losses of age? They are greatly overshadowed by a deepening joy and hope that my words can’t give justice to.

God is so faithful.

Monica O’Neil
Vose Leadership

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