When God builds something, he always has a distinct game-plan: he breaks stuff apart first. When he "built" the first man and woman, he broke Adam in two (the removed rib on the one hand, sleeping Adam on the other). The rib became a woman, and then he put the two parts back together: Adam and Eve became "one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). When God breaks, he's always up to something glorious.
This breaking-while-building method is all over the place in Scripture. God broke Jacob's hip right before he blessed him with land in Canaan (Gen. 32:25); God "breaks" the children of Israel with slavery in Egypt while he simultaneously builds them into a nation of 600,000+ (Exod. 12:37); God "breaks" David by allowing Saul to chase him without cause, all to build him up into a faithful king (1 Sam. 19 - 2 Sam. 5); the nation of Israel is "broken" through sin and exile so that God can bring them back to Canaan and build them up again for his glory (1 Kings 25:21, Ezra 2:1); and of course, Christ's body was broken for us on the cross so that we could be resurrected -- rebuilt -- into new life with Christ.
The key point is this: stories with hardship in them, where people and things get broken, are the rule, not the exception. They're God's way, not God's mistake.
Right now, ACA is doing a lot of building. We're "building" lives (metaphorically) in the classroom, and we're building classrooms (actually) over at Vietnamese Central Baptist Church. What does this mean? That there are still road-blocks and fender-benders ahead. There will be lactic acid buildup and sore muscles, and probably some band-aids needed.
But this is how glory works. It stoops, it scrapes its knee, and it gets its hands dirty -- like Christ did. The way up is down. We delight ourselves in the Lord -- the humble, unexpected ways of the Lord -- and he will give us the desires of our hearts.
Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern