Saturday, March 16, 2013
No one's ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it-
What God has arranged for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9 The Message
You need to know that. I need to know that.
We look around and we see so many things that are broken - some irreparably. We look back and remember painful events that left scars on our soul. We look ahead and can only see more of the same. We need to stop and see Jesus is near. Always.
I've been finishing tomorrow's sermon and I found myself praying for people. People dealing with pain, with heartache, with grief. Young and old, everybody hurts. I pray for them, that the author of all compassion and comfort will surround them with His love. That they will know He loves them.
I've been praying for New Hope. We're the church in the neighborhood, with a heart for anyone who comes through our doors. We've seen many people come to faith here, and others deepen in faith here. I pray for understanding of where our church can see even more of God's mercy and grace shine around us. I'm praying for those who've come here for a season but who just cannot seem to put down roots. Like a child who breaks away from a loved one's embrace, they run outside. Again, and again, and again. And it breaks my heart.
There are times when being a pastor is sheer joy, and times when it plumbs the depths of sorrow.
But in both the good and the bad, I remember -