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Waeber Prayer Letter (January 2021)
As the holidays lie behind us and we look toward a season of relative normalcy, I find myself hungering for a return to the day-to-day habits I maintained before the onset of seasonal insanity. God gave me, as a pastor, a gift on the first Sunday of the new year—a visitor who joined us for the first time. She was an individual I had spoken to many times in the past few months, but who had never joined us for worship or any spiritual activity. Our conversation was a blessing in itself, as we were able to speak about essential matters of salvation and peace with God, but perhaps a more comforting blessing to me personally was her assurance that she had responded to our steady, ordinary presence and repeated, gracious invitation. Having expressed repeatedly a desire to join us in our previous conversations, the Spirit placed it on her heart to come that Sunday, so she came.
A part of church planting, with which perhaps you may not be familiar, is how often you get seemingly encouraging responses from folks and how seldom they pan out. “Yes, I’ll definitely be there,” “I can’t wait to see you again,” and the like are constantly returned in answer to invitations to some event, service, or even conversation. However, we see extraordinarily few of those faces ever again. It is easy to feel like you are shooting arrows into the dark without ever hitting the intended target. This last Sunday reminded me of the actual reality. Even though Lockland (and possibly your community as well) is hardened, burned-over ground, we should still keep sowing seeds in hope, knowing that some will work their way into the blistered cracks in the grounds. Even though it seems that the ground instantly drinks any drop of water poured upon it without any visible effect, those hidden seeds amidst the devastation are still given life. In time, and by the grace of God, we will see fruit, if we do not lose hope.
Be reminded, friends, that we must hold on to the hope of the gospel, even when we are tempted to regard our obedience as futile. It is only by His grace that our deserts may flourish again someday into Edenic gardens.