I've reflected recently about God's activity in shaping a leader through the painful experience of being unravelled: the Wall. It's a recurring pattern in the lives of leaders who finish well.
The same pattern is clearly discerned in the birth and rebirth of Christian movements. God unmakes his people in order to reshape them.
The church in the West is going through such a time.
We tend to want to project our experience on the rest of the global Christian movement. I'm not convinced. We want to foist our doubt and confusion on the church of the Global South and they're not buying it.
How do we navigate such a time? We need to understand what is going on.
God is sovereign and he chooses the times and seasons for his people. Our call is to respond with faith and surrender.
To begin with we have the world as we know it. We know what the rules are. We know what works. We know what we should do. LIfe is predictable. The world makes sense.
Then come the losses. We lose our bearings. We lose our confidence. We lose our hope. The world becomes a confusing place. Doubt and despair enter in. We find ourselves in the wilderness with no way forward and no way back.
God is powerfully at work unravelling us so that he can reform us. But we don't know it. We just feel the terror and shame of our undoing.
The wilderness is the place of danger, devils and temptation. It is also the place of profound encounter with God where we return to the heart of our faith and prepare for the promised land.
There will be a new era. God is faithful. But there will be no resurrection without a cross. No new life without death.