I have written about the fact that no two days are the same. Yesterday was a day where I met with great people in various parts of the territory where I serve. A few observations:
God’s people are a wonderful blessing. Though they come in all sizes and ages, they live in cities, the country and every place in between. God’s people are resilient and they are faithful. They endure and keep moving forward.
Congregations experience seasons. Just as seasons change as the calendar progresses through the year so too do our churches experience seasons. There are growing seasons and seasons of darkness and shadows. Seasons of abundance and seasons of dryness.
It has become more clear to me in the position that I presently occupy what Jesus meant when he said that we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Yesterday I stopped by the town of Liberty Indiana and took a picture of the new building being constructed. The old building was taken down and a new one is rising from the vacant lot. This was a rejoice with those who rejoice moment.
Yesterday afternoon I participated in an installation service for a new pastor. Throughout this service, there was a spirit of rejoicing in the faithfulness of God. A new pastor automatically sets our thinking toward the endless possibilities of new beginnings. What might God want to do in and through us seems to be the unspoken feelings of the congregation and pastor! As a pastor, I had a front row seat to many new beginnings: wedding ceremonies, baptisms, and other new commitments. Reading the installation ritual gives me the same kind of a feeling, we are starting something new and the future seems bright.
These two events were “rejoice with those rejoice” kinds of moments. I also had a “weep with those who weep” moment as well. After preaching in one of our local churches, I held a congregational meeting in which I communicated the dire situation that the church was facing. People who are involved in church love their church. They are vested and deeply involved in their local congregation. Many major life events and the history of their families are intertwined with that local church. The only way I can describe the times when I have had to inform congregations of the situation is like letting someone know that a loved one is very ill and may not make it.
The good news of the day was that we are still people who believe in miracles! A few times when I have delivered this news, something happened and the crisis was averted and today new life exists. Included in these kinds of stories is, in fact, the very town I stopped in and snapped a picture of the new building. There was a time when I wondered if this place was going to move ahead. They have grown and moved ahead and will be in a few months dedicating a new building. Regardless of where you are today. God is still in the miracle-working business.
Whether you have a need in your life, your family, your business or even the congregation where you attend, God “is an ever-present help in time of trouble.” “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.” And then remember “weeping only lasts for the night, joy comes in the morning.”
God loves you and I do as well!