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Word of the Week

January 03 2019
January 03 2019
By

We were meeting as a staff this morning and several of us admitted we had been a tad confused about the day of the week. There were holidays stuck in the middle of weeks, and some days were feeling like Friday when it was actually Tuesday. You know what I’m talking about, right? During the holidays you are waking up and trying to remember if it was Saturday, or Sunday or some other day. I promised our staff that I would make the word “confusion” the word of the week.

There are other ways we start the year a bit confused, and perhaps dismayed. Every year we start with such hopes because it’s a new year, and we are fresh and determined. We are going to start the new budget, the new financial plan, better job performance, etc. Things change very little. We get frustrated. February 1st finds that we’ve gained wait and used our new gym membership only the first week.

We are confused because in reality, almost nothing changed when the sun rose on January 1 except that we received more sunshine because the days are getting longer now. All of the habits and challenges that made 2018 disappointing were still with us in the new year. Don’t worry, I’m going to offer some hope if you stay with me!

Others of us carry over heartaches from 2018 that didn’t go away just because the sun set on December 31, 2018. Many of our members lost parents in 2018. That grief visited us. Some of us are hurting because there are family members that seem no closer to God than at last new year’s. Some of our marriages are in a hard and sometimes ambiguous place.

For Caron and I, things are confusing because so much is changing in our lives! There is the excitement of a new calling, and the grief of laying aside the sweet burden of pastoring this church. We went through loss with her mother’s death, and are considering selling our house in 2019. Whew, no wonder we are confused! I know a few of you are traveling to new jobs every day now and trying to figure out new routines.

How can our faith in Christ and our relationship with God our Father provide some comfort in these confusing days? In times of great confusion and turmoil God spoke to his people - armies were invading, worlds were coming apart…and God reached out with comfort:

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:1-4)

Does that apply to us in our confusion? God is our Father because Jesus Christ has taken away our guilt, and given us his own right standing with God. Now we are adopted and have God’s Spirit within us. When we are confused and frustrated it is time to stop and believe - to stop and remember. God loves us, God is our Father, and God is in control even though it feels like life is out of control. Life will sting us, burn us and confuse us, but God will be with us and will carry us through the fire and through the deep waters of life. The longer I know the Lord, the more stories of God’s faithfulness in my own life I experience. My deepest comfort going forward is in God’s utter faithfulness to his people.

I hope you can break away from anything confusing you for some moments of God’s peace!

In Him,

Don

 


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