When God Laughs
August 12, 2020
The last two weeks I wrote about growing spiritually by looking at the people we interact with as our teachers. Likewise, we can also grow spiritually if we look at the circumstances around us as teachers. As some of you may already know, our church suffered extensive damage due to flooding caused by tropical storm Isaias. This damage extends throughout the church. Walls will be replaced, as well as floors. Some of the floors are made of asbestos tiles, so removal of these tiles will be extremely costly. While damages are still being calculated, they are expected to far exceed the limits of our insurance policy. Needless to say, this will be a painful process for our church and school.
The question is what does the pain of these circumstances teach us? One lesson I learned, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” For instance, I had already written my letter for this week right after sending you last week’s letter. I thought I was done with this week’s letter and I could use the extra time to do something else. WELL, that didn’t happen! (Do you hear God laughing?)
Another example of plans not coming to fruition was when I set out to get my Master’s degree so that I could become a counselor. I received a degree in pastoral care and counseling. At the time, I just wanted to be a counselor; I had no interest in the pastoral part because I thought I knew nothing about the subject. Much to my disappointment, I did not get a counseling job. However, what did happen is I got elected head of pastoral care at this church. As a result I started sending out pastoral letters of comfort to the congregation during the COVID crisis, and am actually going to be giving a sermon two Sunday’s from now. Much to my surprise, I love working in this area. I can hear God now roaring with laughter over the thought that I wanted nothing to do with the pastoral part of my degree. Indeed, God does have His plans!
So what does that have to do with where we are now? Look at the plans you had in the beginning of 2020. How have those plans changed? How has that change challenged you to adapt to new circumstances? Are you doing something you thought you could never do before? I’m sure for most of us, we had never even heard of Zoom. And how about the parents of young children? I bet they never thought, in their wildest dreams, that they would become elementary school teachers. All challenges result in spiritual growth if we ask God’s help in dealing with them. We just have to put one foot ahead of the other and not quit.
There have been a lot of changes and in some way or another, good will come out of these unexpected changes, if they haven’t already. When I went to the web site to donate money for flood relief, I had a set amount in my head that I wanted to give. I am on a fixed income, so I have to budget my money carefully. But this time, my heart told me to give more than the set amount in my head. You know, there is a straight line between the head and the heart, and there is always a battle going on between the two. This time my heart won out. This time I knew I needed to practice the faith that if I gave double the amount I had planned to give, everything would work out for the good of all.
Please donate from your heart to the flood relief fund on our website pennwynnepres.org. No matter what you give, God will be smiling.
With love and peace,