Rob Ainsworth, co-ordinator of the Besom in York, reflects on how a recent setback has not stopped God’s work. This story starts last Sunday. I was in our church gathering and God was reminding me that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. He knows what it is like to live here on the earth. He knows the temptations and frustrations that we face too, I was reminded how he dealt with them:
- When He was let down by those he trusted most, He laid down his life for them.
- When He was confronted by false accusation, He was gracious.
- When He was taken out of his way and delayed, He stopped, listened and healed.
- When He met liars and cheats, He didn’t avoid them. He gave them His time and ate with them.
- When He met a thief on the cross, He forgave and welcomed him.
So with the context of serving this gracious, loving, time-giving, hearing, forgiving King Jesus I woke up on Monday morning to a phone-call to say that there had been a break-in at the church where our office is! The office door had been broken, the office smashed up and some things stolen. My heart sank! The damage to the office and the mess didn’t bother me too much, neither did the money or laptop that had been stolen- they could be fixed/replaced. God is bigger and we had faith for Him to provide more than we’ve lost. My main concern was for all the names and addresses of the recipients referred to the Besom – some very vulnerable people. What if they’d taken that?! After texting the Besom team, asking them to pray, I cycled in to assess the damage. I couldn’t look in the office as we needed to wait for the C.S.I. police to arrive, so I went round the corner with the Besom team for a coffee to talk and pray. We prayed – for Godly wisdom of what to do that day; that in the midst of a burglary that we could be a people of trust and that in the light of having had things stolen that we’d look to our all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere friend – God Almighty for provision. So how did God provide that day and since?
- Things that were not stolen. Thankfully none of our private and confidential data had gone or been touched – whoever broke in was after money or stuff they could sell. Neither was the iPhone given to the Besom or the bank card.
- Extra People. Becky, an ex-core-team-er was in York for the day. She was perfect provision to carry on the ‘normal Besom work’ whilst I dealt with the Police. Also Izzy, a Besom assessor came to help Becky and I tidy up.
- Time to Pray. We had to wait for the Police so we had extra time to pray – this is a gift.
- Coffee. The Punch Bowl Pub round the corner with refillable coffee for 79p(!) – a convenient place to meet to pray as a team too!
- Money. The Monday after the burglary a cheque for £500 was given and another source offered to pay for everything we’d lost. This was without asking for anything. Just praying. God is greater.
- His word that reminded us and taught us this from James 1v 2-6
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting. Let’s let steadfastness have it’s full effect.