Good Thursday morning!
Every day we awaken to a new episode of COVID-19. The virus that is shaking up the world. It has effected every area of our lives. There is no way to be isolated from this pandemic that it is not effecting you. It has effected individuals and families. It has effected businesses for profit and non-profit. Unless you are in the grocery industry, fast food industry or the health industry no one knows for sure if your job is secure. Small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. Churches will go for several weeks without a designated offering time. People are holding onto their money because they are not sure what is next. The stock markets are like a yoyo, sometimes up, sometimes down. Yet in every single millisecond of our lives God is in control. There is not one thing that He doesn’t know and understand. We are looking at a three dimensional picture from only one dimension. We do not need to fear. We can be assured that God is there and He is watching over us. The world and what it throws at us may think that it is winning, but if you stand on Jesus, the Son of God you already know who wins.
Now that doesn’t mean we should go off halfcocked and just do something without common sense. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” The KJV says “walk with circumspect.” A pastor friend told me on Tuesday that he read a commentator who said that he related this to a country where they build walls around the houses. On top of the walls they place broken glass to keep thieves from jumping up on the wall and climbing the wall. He said he watched a cat walk on top of the wall very carefully watching every place he put his paw. That is walking with circumspect. Walking with wisdom. Not just running at something without looking to where you are going and what you are getting into.
In the next few weeks we are walking with wisdom from above. We want to be led by the hand of God and make sure we do nothing that would bring dishonor to Him and His name. We want to make sure that our church stays together in this time of upheaval. Making decisions and finding our way is a work in progress, but we believe with Godly leadership and much prayer we will find ourselves at the end of this journey safe and well and ready to move forward.
Please pray for each other during this time of unsettledness. By now you should have been contacted about the suspension of our services for at least the next two weeks. We are trying to “flatten” the curve and watch as this virus moves on. All of our hope and prayer is that we will be together to worship on Easter and what a celebration it will be. If at any time you are unsure of what is happening at your church please give me, Pastor Josh, or the church office a call. We are here for you!!
Well as I told you last week I was supposed to go to Washington DC to watch a hockey game. Foster was excited about going and we were all excited the time was almost here. On Wednesday, everything began to escalate about the coronavirus. Joshua and I had been talking. I had reservations for two nights at a hotel in Arlington, VA. I had to let them know by 4 pm Thursday or I would lose my first nights deposit. The NHL had still not said whether they were suspending their season. At noon Joshua and I talked again. He asked me was I worried about traveling with all that was going on. I told him know as long as the game was being played. That was the reason we were going. Finally at 2 pm Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the NHL said the season was being suspended and all games were postponed until a later day. More news would come. I quickly called the hotel and cancel the reservations. Of course my little buddy, Foster was disappointed, but Joshua told him there would be another time.
What we have seen happen is unprecedented in the world we live in. I guess if you were alive during the depression you may have seen some of this, but with social media and a store on every corner who would have thought we would be here.
Personally I started off thinking “much ado about nothing.” They will find out before long that it was nothing to it. I said it’s the media trying to scare us to death. Then I got more educated about it. I saw what was happening and had happened in Italy when they didn’t react quick enough. I saw who were the most at risk people in the world. My “nothing to it” got to be a “we had better do something.”
Last Saturday I was bound and determined to have church. I even remarked I was having church no matter what. After research and talking to my cancer doctor, Dr. Dyar, on Monday, my position began to change. What if there is “much ado about this!” How am I going to feel if the virus is brought into Reedy River and our “at-risk” members contract the disease. Quickly I changed my mind and knew we had to act and act fast.
Now please understand me, I am not scared of COVID-19. It does not frighten me in the least. My prayer is that never know anyone who has it. My prayer is that we curb the disease and fewer and fewer people are infected, but even if we see record numbers infected and die I will not be scared of a virus that can only harm my body. I will and do have a healthy respect of what this virus can and has done. But I will not be afraid.
God is and always has been bigger that COVID-19. As we navigate this “National Emergency” my prayer is that we ask God to give us guidance and wisdom in our journey. That we practice good hygiene and social distancing so that the virus can “take a hike.” My prayer is that we act as disciples of Jesus and love others as Jesus loved us. My hope is that the church will come out on top of this mess and show the world who the savior of the world is.
During these hard times we are going to call and keep in touch with each of you from time to time. We are going to check in and make sure you are taking good care of yourself and still filling up your tank with Jesus. He is the only way through this crisis.
Remember we are here for you if you need anything, from prayer to picking something up for you. Maybe you just want to talk and break the monotony of the day. We are here.
With all that has been said about what is taking place in our world it has got me to Just Thinking that I will be glad when this is all over.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33