Faith Stories: Help My Unbelief
The Walk! Something we have been hearing about for some time around St. John’s. We should all have a pretty good understanding of what it is about. It’s about our Capital Campaign to raise money to improve our sanctuary and gym. We want to upgrade and renovate the gym into a more welcoming and functional family life center and to serve our clients at the Shepherd’s Market. We also want to renovate and add a narthex to the sanctuary. These are needed as we continue to “Walk” and serve God on this corner of Renee and Highland Road. Plans and details have been developed over the course of the past couple of years. And here we are today ready to move forward with raising the money to start construction.
Raise money! 1.5 million dollars! WOW THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY! I admit when I first heard this amount, I swallowed hard, took a deep breath, thought about it and became scared. $1.5 million!
Although I have not been a part of the actual planning teams, I have been fortunate to have participated in many retreats and meetings when we discussed the progress being made to identify our needs and form a plan. We usually began these meetings with a devotional. Each time these devotionals leaned heavily on our faith in God, citing scripture and personal experiences.
Now I have faith and I believe in the power of God. But $1.5 million? That scares me! As I thought about it more and more, the more scared I became. Then I was reminded of the father who brought his son to Jesus to be healed. He asked Jesus if you are able would you take pity and help my son. ”23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able!-All things can be done for the one who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)
That was my first reaction when we started talking about raising this amount of money. You could probably say I was a little negative, and you would be right! How was St. John’s going to raise that kind of money? Are we able?
Well, I began praying asking God to “help my unbelief” and to help me find a way to participate fully in the financial part of this plan to help us improve our facilities so that we could indeed be more inviting and feed people both spiritually and physically. I prayed, prayed and prayed about it. I listened, listened and listened for God to answer!
Over time my negative thoughts began to disappear, to recede into the back recesses of my mind and they were replaced with positive thinking about this building plan and capital campaign. The more I prayed and listened about it the more positive I became. You see, God was helping “my unbelief.”
Also those doing the planning chose a name that really gets our attention, “The Walk!” Now some of you may wonder how or why that came about? Think for a minute with me. Since you and I first accepted Christ into our lives as our Redeemer/Savior, we have been on a journey. A spiritual journey with God, walking along with Him, talking to him, listening to Him, and having Him as a part of our life. So we have been and are on a Walk with God.
In Hebrews 11:1 we read this, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” So we are on a specific Walk with God right now, asking for his help and guidance as we enter into the final days of our Capital Campaign.
We have things hoped for; to renovate our gym and make it more inviting and to serve as a true family life center, and to renovate the sanctuary and add a narthex. They are both not yet seen today. But as we look into our future they are definitely in our eye sight. Yes, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And with the help of God our “unbelief” can be changed into a strong and confident faith with conviction that God will not only show us the way but will lead us on this journey, both individually and corporately.
So today, although I was scared at first mention of $1.5 million, I am very positive and upbeat about the success of these projects. So let us continue together to “walk by faith, and not by sight.”
As presented during 8:30 a.m. worship on Sunday, October 18, 2015