This spring I got to participate in the Global 6K for Water - an event put on by World Vision that gives people a chance to help bring clean water to those who need it by registering to walk or run 6 kilometers (the average distance a person in an underdeveloped country needs to walk to get water). Each person who registers covers the cost of clean water for one person, and then it's possible to do more by asking people to sponsor you as you walk or run.
I love this event for so many reasons. It gives me a chance to remember (and to help my own kids learn) that the world is a big place and there are a lot of needs, but there are ways for us to make a difference and help meet some of those needs. Plus, walking or running is just a fun thing to do, and there is something about knowing you are helping to accomplish something good for someone else while you do it that adds a whole new dimension to the experience.
This year our whole family signed up and were part of a team made up mostly of people from Berks Christian School, West-Mont Christian Academy, and Reading City Church. The whole team aspect is another reason I love the 6K. It's such a great example of how, when it comes to doing good work, we don't have to do it alone. God calls us to work together. Being part of the body of Christ means that any work we do we are not just doing on our own, we're contributing to a team effort.
Do you ever find, though, that it doesn't really feel like that? Do you ever feel like even though you know you're not the only one serving, you're not really experiencing the camaraderie you wish you were of being on a team with your brothers and sisters in Christ? You know, that feeling of all being in it together and cheering each other on and getting caught up in the excitement of working together.
I will be honest - when I walked the 6K with my family, there was a part of me that felt a little let down afterwards. Even though I had served in the role of "team leader", we were the absolute last people to cross the finish line. And there were so many people on the team who I didn't even get to say "hi" to, let alone cheer on or encourage in some way. What kind of team leader was I anyway, and why didn't I feel more connected to the team as a whole?
Don't get me wrong - the 6K was still a wonderful experience and I do not at all regret doing it. (In fact, my whole family and I are already signed up for 2022!) But I still wondered if there was anything I could or should have done differently this time around. I couldn't seem to escape that feeling that it wasn't quite what I hoped it would be.
Then I watched this video that one of the RCC staff members put together, and something changed within me. I saw myself showing up there with everyone else in the group, and somehow I felt more a part of the team than I had while I was doing the real thing. The video contained various snippets of what actually happened, nothing fabricated or exaggerated or modified. It was just that now I could see it from a different perspective. I could see more of the team and there I was, right in the midst of things, joining in the celebration of this very good endeavor. I saw a little bit more how everything fit together.
I have no idea what heaven will be like, but I almost wonder if there will be some kind of movies there of life on earth. I wonder if God will show us what He has been seeing all along, snippets of our lives and other people's lives, intertwining and working together in ways we could never see while we were living here. I am no theologian, and I'm not trying to make some kind of argument about what we know or don't know about heaven, but there is something about this idea that inspires me. Could it be that when Paul writes these words - "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12) - they tell us that right now we're only seeing a preview, but one day we'll see the whole movie?
As we come to the end of this school year, it seems like a good time to share some snippets from the real lives of people in our communities and how they have seen the faithfulness of God. Maybe one of the best things we can do to prepare for that heaven-procured movie we may one day see is to keep showing each other previews from our own lives. The more we see glimpses of God's faithfulness, the more hope we have that this story we're in really is a good one and is worth being a part of.
I hope you feel inspired by these stories and that you will share your own experiences of seeing God's faithfulness in whatever circles you find yourself. In fact, feel free to go ahead and add your own snippet with this community in the comments below! No person or experience is too small, each one only adds to the beauty of this movie in which we are all characters.
How have you seen the faithfulness of God?
How would you finish the sentence "I know God is faithful because..."?
May God keep opening our eyes to see His faithfulness in our lives. May He embolden us to share what we are seeing and experiencing. And when one of us loses sight of the bigger story, may God help use our sharing with each other to remind us again that He is faithful.
Pray with me, praising God for each of these stories of God's faithfulness....
... from me
I remember a day when I was headed to teach music at WCA and felt like I couldn't get myself into a good head space. It just felt like they were going win, like I didn't have the energy to lead well, but at the same time I was frustrated that I felt stuck in this mindset of me-against-them to begin with. It all felt rather hopeless. And I remember praying something like, "God this is going to have to be You. I need You to take over. If anything goes well, I will give You all the glory." Those were probably not the exact words but that was the gist of it. And lo and behold, from the beginning to the end of that class, I felt so calm. So composed. Nothing seemed to shake me. It wasn't the most amazing class ever but the ability I had to lead it did not feel at all like the feeling I had while driving there. Night and day different actually. I can only think that perhaps God was showing me that He is faithful, even when I am faithless. My faith that day was more out of desperately reaching for hope than confidently believing. But thank God that He can take a mustard seed and use it to move mountains.
... from Jennifer Myers (WCA parent/teacher)
He continues to provide financially. He provides in ways that can only be from Him. He has been faithful to us year in and year out in this way.
... from Rosemary Campbell (BCS parent/faculty member)
God has been so faithful to us this year. We never in a million years thought that when we took Maggie to the doctor back in December that the diagnosis would be moderately severe hearing loss that is not coming back. "She has a disability" - those are words you don't want to hear for your kids. But God is so faithful. The disability reading has actually been a blessing. All her medical bills have been covered, her hearing system has been approved (which is amazing because they are so crazy expensive). The other thing is just Maggie herself. You never know how your kids are going to handle things, and she's been amazing. She's taken it all in stride. There was a little bit of a pity party for herself but she's pulled herself right back up again and just kept on moving. When the batteries died [in her loaner hearing system], she was able through God's grace to come to me and say, "the reason I don't like it is because it's helping me and I don't want to have to need it to help me, and that's why I hate it." That's so big for a 10-year-old, and it's just another example of God's faithfulness, showing her why she was frustrated. God's been so faithful through all of this, on top of me teaching for the first time and everything else. The last year for sure has been an example of God's true faithfulness.
... from Bijal Codispoti (WCA parent/teacher)
I know God is faithful because I survived this year as my first year teaching! God literally "threw" me in this position (a week before school started) that I have always wanted. Didn't know what I was doing but He has been faithful to keep me going, sending people to help, a listening ear to hear my struggles.
... from Andrea Mast (BCS Prayer Team member)
God has been faithful to us through resources. Different information we can access to when we have a problem or we do not know the answer to a situation. The Bible for us is a resource too because we can go to it an keep learning about the amazing love God has for us.
... from Mary Klase (BCS teacher)
I know that God is faithful because I've seen Him bring my family, my church family, and school family through this year. For some it may have been mentally, or emotionally, or physically, or spiritually difficult at times, but He has been with them and given great courage. It is so encouraging to see Him work in my life and in the lives of others.
... from Meribah Reitz (BCS teacher)
I look back on my first awakening to God in my life as a child in a family that didn't know Christ and can see how He brought people into my life who pointed me to Him. When I strayed, He was the love that would not let me go, bringing circumstances and new believers into my life that drew me back to Him. He has used difficult personal circumstances to bring me to total dependence and trust in Him as my All in All. He has blessed in so many ways, but mainly by being my Shepherd and best friend who walks with me and "leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
... from Traci Miller (WCA parent)
I know God is faithful because... we are wrapping up this crazy school year of working full time / 2 children in school/ daycare full time in a pandemic - and we made it! We trusted Him to bring us through when we couldn't see a way and God is good!
... from Lady Angeles (BCS parent)
I will praise the Lord for what he has done. He has been faithful to our family all these seven years that our children have attended BCS. He has faithfully provided for us to pay the tuition, as he has promised; I also praise the Lord because I know that our children have been under the influence of God’s word which is alive and active, and it will give its fruit in time. Praise be the Lord!
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
(BCS school verse - Psalm 145:4)
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love
(WCA school hymn - Great is Thy Faithfulness)
Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory
~ Carrie Warner, BCS/WCA Prayer Team Coordinator
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for BCS/WCA. I plan to take some time off
from writing here this summer but Lord willing, I will be back for the 2021-2022 school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you’d like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy summer and I will see you in August!