2020 has been the year of unwelcome change. (That may be an understatement!)
Change can often produce anxiety, sadness, anger, apathy, listlessness and sleepless nights. I am sure we all have experienced at least one of those symptoms this year. I know I have.
This may be the most difficult year of my ministry because of the change that is beyond my control.
I mentioned the other day in our daily broadcast that this is a time of testing for the church. Let me be clear, God isn’t the one testing us, but it is a test none the less. We always have a choice to endure or to give up. I, for one, refuse to give up. The love of God will see us through if we don’t quit or walk away.
Life is obviously not normal right now. Tensions are high and frustration abounds. I feel it too.
In times like this I am reminded of what John Maxwell once said, “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”
Most of us don’t like change, especially when we do not choose it. Yet, change happens all the time… even when there is not a pandemic! However, in 2020 we are inundated with daily reminders in our socially distanced and masked world that life has changed and there is not much we can do about it.
Between the moments of anxiety, I turn to Jesus to calm my fears and ask, “What do I need to learn to grow in my faith and grow as a person/pastor?”
What have I learned? I have learned to let go. I do not have control over much and that I can only do so much. I leave the rest to Jesus through prayer. I have come to greater trust that God is leading the way and I will continue to point to the One who is still out in front us.
I have taken many deep breaths in the past months and remind myself that Jesus is watching over us all and promises to lead us forward through this “sea change”. I remind myself that we haven’t gotten this far by chance.
In moments of uncertainty and anxiety I turn to this passage in Isaiah, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” Isaiah 43:1-3
I believe that with my whole heart. Life may not be easy at times, but we are never without help and comfort. God is with us and we have each other.
God bless you,