round about us

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides for ever.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem,
so the Lord is round about his people,
from this time forth and for evermore.

That was part of my prayer this morning, from Psalm 125. Good words when you're feeling a bit shaky. The prospects for a retreat in December are not looking good right now, and we're uncertain again about how to proceed. It's easy to get people interested but much harder to get them involved in a real way, especially ministry workers who are very busy already. So we're left entering the slow winter season with not much on the retreat work horizon.

But I think I'm realizing that I've relied too much on the success of the retreats; my hopes and identity have been too much connected to that work. The opportunities that have opened up here have been a very helpful and hopeful sign for us of God's leading. But it's God's care and leading that we need to trust in, not the success of some particular work, even if it's a good work that God has provided for us. Writing this now, it seems rather obvious, but it's felt like a revelation to me. It's so easy to slowly, imperceptibly shift our trust from (the invisible) God to some visible group or work that seems concrete and reliable and able to sustain us.