30 Jul What was the plan?
In 1978 the London Fire department went on strike, causing the British Army to become responsible for responding to all the firefighting calls. On January 14th a call came in from an elderly lady asking for help retrieving her cat out of a tree. The soldiers dutifully responded and with tenderness and care removed the cat from the tree. The lady was so appreciative that she invited the soldiers in for tea and cookies – and the soldiers gladly agreed. After some time together, the soldiers said their fond farewells and returned to their vehicles. As they began to drive off, a disconcerting SPLAT came from underneath the rear tire. In a twist of tragedy and irony, the soldiers looked down only to realize that their truck had run over the very cat they had just saved!
Things don’t always go as we plan, do they? No matter how sincere we are, how hard we try, or how much effort and thought we put into something – sometimes it’s just not enough.
I imagine that for all of us 2020 has not gone at all as we planned. Perhaps you had high hopes for this year – places to travel, financial goals to achieve, opportunities to pursue. Maybe important moments played out very differently than you desired – perhaps you weren’t able to visit a loved one in the hospital or travel out-of-state to welcome a newborn baby into the world.
As I’ve gone through this challenging and unanticipated season, I’ve found myself frequently returning to James 1:2-3, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
It probably doesn’t take you too long to think of some troubles that have come your way this year. This is why I think this encouraging reminder from James is so timely. Even though this year may be tough, we are given a precious opportunity for our spiritual endurance to grow.
See, when we discover God’s constant faithfulness during long and challenging seasons like this, it becomes easier to trust Him during future trials. Over time we build a faith that no longer gets winded by every hill we come across in life. Instead, we can confidently remember God’s past faithfulness and trust Him to be faithful in the future.
My prayer for our church family is that during this time we would continue to fix our eyes on Jesus and that we would come out of this season more race-ready for whatever is next! So invite some friends and join us this Sunday as we continue to talk about how to experience joy even amidst challenging times like this!
Global Connections Pastor