Sunday, 22 February 2015

A City On A Hill

Geographically speaking, Christchurch is far from being situated on a hill. We lay in more of a valley with surrounding hills and mountains that tower over us, but yet I felt God speak this phrase to me very clearly yesterday evening. I quickly hopped on the web and searched the passage of scripture that this came from.
In Matthew 5:14 it says

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.’ (NIV)

February the 22nd marks the four year anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed this city, but it also marks a time where we became the most malleable form in which God can use us- I will touch in this more in a moment.  We were suddenly in the public eye, news channels jumped on this disaster and it spread like wildfire. I feel this is what really placed us as a city on a hill. This scripture will continue to ring true as we rebuild, slowly building up fresh infrastructure, birthed from minds that suddenly had a whole canvas of a city to work on. Community projects have blossomed like pop up dance-o-mats, poetry walls, and outside movie screenings have adorned this city with hope during this ongoing restoration project. This rebuild will not be a quiet task, it will draw attention no only nationally but internationally and it is pushing me to continue prayerfully that God’s hand is upon this whole process. If we are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden, I want to be a city that shines the light of Christ from every rubble ruined street corner, and every sleek new office building. I desire to be a part of something that has Christ as the centre, and know that if God can speak the stars into existence, he can take the brokenness of this city and make it whole again.

This leads me onto something I touched on before, being malleable in God’s hands. After the quake we became our weakest, as we mourned over loves ones and watched bricks that built up our homes and buildings, tumble around us. The city became a mess of road cones and tears, and we watched as we became very different versions of ourselves than we once knew. But not only did God speak to me about being a city on a hill, the thing that hit me the most this evening was two verses a few above that read,

3You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. (THE MSG)

How incredible is it that God loves our brokenness? A person who is willing to become completely undone for the sake of being put back together to become more like him is someone who is treasured in God’s eyes. This evening I began to see God’s heart in the way I view this city. I see how I am intrigued by the fading shop signs and smashed bookcases behind windows. I look upon broken dollhouse-like buildings, and I am reminded of my own brokenness and how lovingly God looks upon my every fault, knowing he has work to do in me. I see how when this city and it’s people are at the end of their rope, there is far more God can do because we are willing for him to take the reins. I see how when we have lost what is most important to us, the embrace of our father is that much more comforting and needed. But most of all, I see myself in these broken city streets and hear my Dad call me his child and let me know the passion I have for this broken city is the passion he has for me. He wants me to run into his arms when I reach the end of my tether, or when I feel I am crumbling in the way this city did, because in times like these he will grow me the most.
I encourage you to be attentive to what God is speaking to you about, and don’t ever feel discounted because of your faults of weaknesses. For when we are at our weakest, it is at this place we are most able to be used by our Father- and he can use you in incredible ways.

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