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C3 WENTWORTHVILLE BLOG

Shared Contribution


This series 'Faith Shared' has been an exploration of what it means to do life together in a community - a Church community with Christ at the center.

More then any other series perhaps - this series has been deeply located in our personal testimonies. We started 6 weeks ago with the story of one of our incredible church members, who on her journey some years ago attended a Church course - in fact she was the only one who did. Despite being the only one to register and show up the facilitator ran the course anyway - in their eyes she was valuable! Many years later she is one of the most committed contributors to our Church community - and to think that a different decision by that facilitator might have changed the trajectory of her journey! We are richer as a Church family because of the faithfulness of someone we never met!


So it is for all of us. When I first joined this Church years ago as a young newly married man I was privileged to meet someone who had a impact on me. This person would become my life group leader and a friend. At the time he was a young father - and was therefore a few years ahead of me in that particular life experience. As I became embedded in this Church this leader saw value in being present in my world - he made sure that in addition to seeing me each week at life group, and on Sundays that we would have the opportunity to meet and pray each week early in the morning before work began.


As we met and prayed we would share our needs so that each of us could pray for the other - and in this process I became acutely aware that this was a man who was not getting the rest - the sleep he needed. In fact for a number of years he would come to each of our meetings with the same prayer request - for God to give him rest.


I prayed, but to be honest I was not incredibly impacted - the truth was that I did not have the life experience to understand what he was dealing with - my only responsibilities were work and to my wife - I had more then enough time to sleep.


When we read 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 we hear from the apostle Paul as he explores the body of Christ metaphor - he shares with us that each of us is a different part of the body - each supporting each other and each valuable to the whole.


Sometimes it is not clear to us which part of the body we are, and what purpose we are serving - as we met for prayer each week I don't think that either of us would have stopped to consider the question. Which of us was a foot or a hand - an eye or an ear?


Still life went on and this moment pasts - and a number of years later my wife and I had our first child. As an experience this was traumatic for us. Our child did not sleep - in fact we found what he mostly did was cry. We saw doctors, looked out help and were told that this was normal.


We were told that having kids was going to be ‘fun’ ‘full of joy’ and all the soft moments you see on TV adverts. As a young dad I remember looking at other parents and feeling such deep jealousy because for us it wasn’t fun at all.


During this period I remember the sense of hopelessness and darkness that closed in around us - my son wasn't the only member of our family that would cry each day. One day I can remember distinctly now I sat on the floor and in my tiredness my mind went back to the prayers we used to share each week - I remembered each and every week praying for rest and while our experiences were not exactly the same I now understood something. I marveled at the faith that this man had demonstrated in continuing to pray - for a year or more, each week despite for me there being no evidence of an answer. Right then I started to pray.


I can tell you now that the answer did not come immediately - in fact that would be some time off, but what did happen was the darkness and the sense of hopelessness lifted. While I did not yet have the faith to declare that everything was going to be OK today I could start to see a future, I would tell me wife - lets get through 3 months, it will be better then.


We had been going days - weeks with out sleep and eventually I decided to set up a device - an old phone and record 24 hours. We found that our son cried for a total of 17 hours that day. When we went back to a doctor with this we were able to start to get the help we needed. Our son had acute food intolerance and was living in pain.


As a part of the body of Christ I was hurting, but I wasn't alone - see the seed of faith had been planted years ago, and started to bear fruit right when I needed it.


Our lives are a series of moments where the stories - the testimonies of others intersect with our own - in in our willingness to be present in each others world we fulfill our calling to be parts of the body - supporting and being supported.


What does it mean to do 'Faith Shared'? It means being willing to be present - even when we don't know that we are having an impact we can be sure that God has made created us uniquely gifted for the place he has put us in and given us a purpose - one that might not be clear for years.

If we are willing to be present - we can trust God to put our gifts to good use!

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