Dear Church Family,
We are now close to the beginning of summer. The Pandemic is dragging on. We are tired of waiting. What have we learned so far?
We are learning to be careful who we listen to. Sometimes I say to Betty, there is a sucker born every minute. Humans feed on the negative, nasty, and emotional. The Bible says that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11) It is just this year and time that God is training us to endure a pandemic, and to do it with grace. God is teaching us that the media survives by good ratings, and not by the truth. God is teaching us how we can live without so many conveniences and entertainment and still be whole persons. The Godly life is a learned life. You just can’t believe everything you hear. We have to make peace with this truth.
We are learning that a fallen world cannot give us a comfortable life. We are taught to crave comfort. We demand comfort. We can get most anything fixed that breaks. Through Adam and Eve this world order is broken. It will not fully work. We have just enough technology to trick us into believing that we can make everything comfortable. Then life happens. This world is not heaven. Neither science nor government can usher in heaven. We move through this life from one challenge to another. Over the years we are shaped as clay in God’s hands.
We are learning step by step how to be both gracious and realistic at the same time. This is where the good life takes place. This is where our faith can grow. During these weeks I have two older relatives whom I am very close with. They each have been to the point of death a few times. They have gotten discouraging news upon more let downs. When my phone rings in the latter evening my pulse quickens. It is not that we can’t let go of each other. It is the coming and going, the advancing and setbacks near the point of death that touch my soul. As believers, we do not Try to follow Jesus, God takes the hard stuff of life and Trains us to follow Jesus. I pray for grace to just walk with God. There is a time for everything, and I will never know those times.
So, we get up each day, take a hold of God’s hand, and let him work things out. We are learning to be careful whom we listen to, and what we will believe. We are learning that comfort is not owed to us. It is in struggle that we grow. We are learning how to balance graciousness and realism. This summer is God’s gift to each of us. May we live it with him.