What a building project is teaching me about the Gospel

AugustanaBuilding (2)

The Gospel says that God is the one who moves, acts, and creates. We are the ones who respond to this out of gratitude, thankfulness, and faith. Believe it or not, the greatest Gospel teacher for me right now is a 129 year old building.

When we purchased Hope East in April of 2012, I thought, “God got us this building! It’s a miracle! Now it’s our job to fix this and get it ready for Hope. It’s up to me to make this happen, and I can do this!”


At first this project seemed to be almost wholly under my control. But there have been countless variables, surprises, and delays. I now clearly see that I have almost no control over this.

The entire process has been a challenge to really believe the Gospel. God brought us to this point, and he is the one who will bring us through it. It has been increasingly clear to me through the past seven months that God is the one who moves, acts, and creates with all things Hope East. My job is to listen to him and patiently act in trust and faith.

Ultimately the construction of Hope East does not hinge on my efforts. God is using my efforts, but he could accomplish this in a myriad of other ways. The remodeling of this space is just as much an act of God as the purchase. I need to find freedom and take comfort in one simple fact: God started the process, and he’ll finish it.

And so I’m reminded once again of God’s joy and delight in working in this world through a schmuck like me. The Gospel screams that God loves to be involved with us, lead us, and help us. (Titus 2:11-14) He saves us not to just be passive consumers of grace, but to work right along with him in bringing Kingdom change and new creation into this world.

God doesn’t need us, his love for us does not hinge on our performance, and yet he still delights in letting us work alongside him. What an act of love! And I’m witnessing that over and over.

The challenge for me is to fight daily to believe this. Every hammer swing, every brush stroke, every dug hole, and every dumpster filled is a testament to God’s love, faithfulness, and desire for ALL to come to him and find life.

So, what Gospel reminders are in your life? What is God using to teach you and remind you of his incredible story?

– Seth Prince

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