Leonard Browning: Turn to Christ in times of trouble
Recently, The Journey at First Baptist experienced a middle-of-the-night sprinkler pipe break that flooded part of our sanctuary and basement below. The initial cause was assumed to be a frozen pipe because of the extended subzero nights we have experienced this winter. However, the night in question was one of the warmest to date.
Our insurance carrier sent a regional adjuster to assess the damage a few days later. Upon his inspection, the cause of the pipe failure was found to be a serious deflection of part of the roof truss system, which caused the pipe to literally pull out of its threaded joint.
Currently, we are in the process of shoring up the truss system and determining the extent of the water damage. We are able to use our building for all meetings and events except for Sunday services, which are being held at Moffat County High School during this emergency.
There are insurance companies and engineers involved — so we never may be back in our sanctuary!
This inconvenient fiasco has afforded us an opportunity to put into practice values we espouse and to learn what we are made of.
Churches are fond of saying that their ministries are not about their facility, that their buildings are only tools used to “facilitate” ministry. This notion is too often just a wonderful platitude. Many churches and organizations have divided, folded or otherwise been rendered ineffective when buildings become more than ministry facilitation.
For us, this is an opportunity to practice what we preach regarding the wonderful facility we have enjoyed and shared with our community for the past four years.
We think that the true church of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with names or buildings; rather, it has everything to do with being joined together with others who share the resurrected life of Christ and confess Him as Lord. The Journey is just one part of the greater “body” of Christ that exists in Craig and around the world.
The Apostle Peter put it like this:
“… you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ …”
Christians are also fond of saying that God is sovereign or ultimately in control. There are varied philosophies and expressions of this theology, but on some level, all Christians have a doctrine of God’s sovereignty.
We are in a position to be prone to anger and to inappropriately seek relief for the situation in which we find ourselves with our building. How could so many who were paid so much miss some obvious mistakes made in the design and construction of our roof support system?
Will we be patient, understanding and work with the entities involved to see this problem through to a satisfactory solution? Is our relationship with Christ and His word the driving motivation behind how we work through this situation, or are we more concerned about “people paying” for their negligence and our inconvenience?
My prayer for us is that we would:
“… be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus …”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we also value being thankful, always — no matter what.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thank; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
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Life for us here in northwest Colorado has had more than its share of opportunities to give in to fear and panic.