As I begin to gather my thoughts to offer a word today, I want all of you to know you have been weighing on my heart and mind this week. I miss so much your smiles, your hugs, your warmth and the real connection I feel we have with one another. Those things cannot be conveyed via a livestream, or FaceTime, or even through the written word. They have to be experienced in person, person to person. Please know I love each one of you, miss you greatly and am constantly in prayer with you.
Its been a difficult week. That is a real understatement, if there ever was one. The pandemic and the effects it is wreaking in our world are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. If we step back though, disengage from social media and broadcast media, what do we notice?
Many have said they have noticed a quieter surrounding. Others have noted the air is cleaner, the hectic pace of life has slowed down to a crawl. Its almost as if we’ve all been given a collective breather from what was. When we think of what is and what might be, we tend to get somewhat frightened and anxious. What will happen to me/us? What will the economy do? How will we recover? Who will we lose? These are just a few of our questions, and I’m sure many more.
In an email exchange with a dear friend, Courtney, she expressed a breaking point in her time recently. I asked for permission to share a part of this with you. She started out saying how the time sequestered with her fiance was rather nice. They got to spend real quality time together. At a certain point though, she began to become fearful and anxious…
“The last week and 1/2 has been full of adjustments and I’ve really tried to see the positive in all of it. However, last night I found myself irritated, scared, anxious, and overwhelmed. I played one of my favorite worship songs and started to weep. My husband asked me what it was that was bothering me and making me feel so emotional and I told him I was scared of what was to come. I am a control freak and have to be in control of everything. I love structure and knowing exactly what’s coming and what has to be done. For the last 6 years, I’ve been nothing but busy. I work multiple jobs, 7 days a week, and most of the time am only home to shower and sleep. I miss singing every single day with my colleagues, I miss seeing my students and hugging them when they’ve had a difficult day, I miss my church family, I miss my friends. The truth is, I miss being busy. I don’t like to shut my mind off because I find myself going to dark places. Last night was one of those nights. But through saying things out loud and listening to my favorite worship song, I heard God. I heard Him tell me that He had a reason for all of this. For me individually and for us as a collective people. He told me it was okay to slow down, to enjoy the quiet moments He’s providing in this time, and to trust that the outcome of all of this will be worth it. And most importantly, that I am not and never will be in control.
My faith has always been there, but last night it slapped me in the face (in the best way). I promised God and myself in that moment that I would recommit my life to serving him in everything I do.”
As a result of Courtney’s “dark night of the soul,” she has asked when we come back together as a worshipping community, she would like to renew her faith and rededicate her life to Christ. Won’t you praise God right now for the work God is doing in Courtney’s life…and your’s and mine?
In Matthew 6: 25-34, Jesus admonishes us not to worry…
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[b] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God[c] and his[d] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
May God’s love, comfort and protection continue to surround you.
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor Tom Waitschies