Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth,or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:1-2
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
We have never seen anything like it before. But God has.
The couple stood over the rubble of what had been their home until the tornado touched down and spread all of the family possessions over untold miles of farm ground. The husband says to his wife, “I’ve never seen anything like it before.” But God has.
The man gazes down from what remained of the church bell tower and looks out over the mass of destruction, bombed out buildings, military vehicles overturned, and the bodies of soldiers littered everywhere. He closes his eyes and then opens them again and says, “I’ve never seen anything like before.” But God has.
A worldwide pandemic where people live in fear. We have never seen anything like it. But God has. From everlasting to everlasting, Yahweh is God. He who created all things by His Word, who stilled the storm by His Word, who raised the dead by His Word, still gives to us that Word to calm our fears and strengthen our faith. For every parent who is afraid for both the welfare of children and parents, you have a God who still rules over all things. For every pastor who is overwhelmed by the burden of bearing the burdens of the members, you have a God who bore all your burdens by dying on the cross. For every leader who is worried for the future and what all of this means for the church’s finances, you have a God who has preserved His Church through plagues and pestilence, wars and depressions. We may have never seen anything like it, but God has.
So the Church is bold to proclaim the eternal kingdom and reign of God to a world looking for someone in whom they can trust. Our pastors proclaim a message of comfort based upon God’s Word that sustains and strengthens them in their weakness and need. Parents teach their children the morning and evening prayers as we are reminded that we commend everything, body and soul, into God’s faithful hands. Our comfort comes not in what we have seen, but in the unseen One who brought all things into being and who continues to rule over all things. The peace and strength that we need for a time such as this is found in the certainty that God has seen His people through countless worldwide crises before and He will guide us through this one as well. We may have never seen anything like this before, but God has and He is still in control.
Prayer – Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan