One of the truly amazing and heartening things about working at St Mark’s has been the slowly unfolding revelation that God uses everything we go through to bring us to a place where all our previous experience can be of use to Him and His kingdom. It’s been inspiring to see that we have so much talent in our church, so many people who ‘just happen’ to have done things in life which are really useful in the things we are now doing!
One of those talents was used this past weekend as we have worked on the central heating system in the main hall. One of our church members has a lot of experience in fitting radiators and piping. You might think that familiarity breeds contempt, but as he supervised someone else on this job (his ‘creaking joints’ making it impossible for him to do the work himself!), he saw things from a new perspective…
“Standing back and watching someone learning to do a task that is very familiar for me opened up a whole new perspective. As I watched Garry gently warm the joints with the blowlamp and then apply the solder, I could see that when the temperature of the joint was just right, the solder was sucked into the joint. The solder then bonds to both the pipe and the fitting and makes a strong, waterproof joint. If the joint was not heated enough, the solder would just sit at the end of the fitting and not produce the required effect. If too much heat is applied, the solder is burnt off and again the joint will not be right.
“I have done this process many, many times over the years but as I have been quite close to the work and absorbed in what I was doing, I hadn’t really appreciated it.
As I watched this process I realised that it illustrates how God has to deal with us.
We need to be joined to God with an unbreakable bond. The solder that God uses is the Holy Spirit and God uses a variety of methods of applying the heat to allow the Holy Spirit to flow into us and to achieve that unbreakable union. Sometimes that heat may come from adversity, sometimes from circumstances we find ourselves in, sometimes from encouragement and praise.
“But in all these the purpose is to bring us to the point where the Holy Spirit can flow and, just like the solder, bond us to our Heavenly Father.
“Garry soon learnt to apply just the right amount of heat. Not too much to burn off the solder, not too little so that the solder did not flow properly. And in the same way, the Holy Spirit is expert at applying just the right amount of whatever is needed to strengthen our bond with God.”