May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Friday, 5th week in Lent
O Lord, Who, in infinite wisdom and love, orders all things for Your children, order everything this day for us in Your tender mercy. You know our weakness, You made us; You know how our soul shrinks for every pain of soul. Lord, we know that you will lay no greater burden on us than You can help us to bear. Teach us to receive all things this day from You. Enable us to entrust ourselves into your hands; grant us all things needful, and enable us to please You in everything. Bring us through the trials and challenges of this day by your ever present Spirit, and into your eternal glory by your never failing promises. Amen
When bleak is the road before us, God provides hope for our hurting souls.
How are you doing?
It’s a strange but important question to ask of one another during this new reality. I’ll go first…
I want to say that I’m doing fine. That’s our go to answer, right? But the truth is, I find myself at sea. There is no routine that I’m used to. Being under a stay-at-home order feels like a vacation of sorts, but more like a “stay-cation” with lots of added stress. I find myself starving for face-to-face human interaction.
The other day I got some take-out food at the Kabob House, and the only other guy in the room was an Uber driver who had moved to Spokane 6 years ago from South Carolina; he was a large black man with a Southern accent, I was a pastor in desperate need of a haircut. In a matter of minutes we were chatting away like we had been best friends for life.
Cheri and I find ourselves trying to distract ourselves bouncing from work-at-home, to watching “This is Us” (which, by the way, is a great show, but really emotional–in a cathartic sort of a way), and doing projects around the house. We eat, go for walks, and sleep…sometimes (sleep has been fleeting some nights). On the back burner of our minds, however, is the financial question of what this pandemic will mean long-term. There are concerns for the congregation, concerns about our school families and staff, concerns about our own family. And health concerns. A week ago, we thought my mom had the virus. Turned out to be a bad cold, but it sent our stress level up a few more degrees.
For all of these stressors, we turn to God in prayer and to his word…when we remember(!). (It’s strange what being out of rhythm does to one’s habits–finding a routine that works, has been a challenge!) We know without a doubt that God has this. He is shaking the world’s foundations, and finding out if people will turn to Him or not for their strength and stability. Our deliverance is not on what WE will do to win the war on this virus, but on what GOD will do!! We are amazed that such a little virus is causing such a big impact around the world. We praise him for his glory. We ask him for his help for us and many others. And we wait on him. We love hearing little reports that break through the news cycle that talk about how people have relied upon God and God delivered them from the sickness. We also mourn for the families that have lost loved ones when God took them home instead. We pay attention to the news. And we limit how much we watch the news. We have noticed that we are less stressed when we limit how much news we listen to. In the end, our peace and well-being, is in God’s hands.
There are times when we just sit and breathe…just not on other people.
With you all in the hands of God
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. If you are feeling like you are lost, please give me a call. There is hope. All is not lost. God has a plan and there is help. I am here for you, also. Call me or respond to this email, and I will get your message and we can chat. We are in this together.