Due to the government shutdown, I know that many of you are facing a period of uncertainty (unless you are “essential”, whatever that means). As you go through this difficult time, I just wanted to offer a quick encouragement and also remind everyone else of what we can do for our brothers and sisters.
Trusting in the Lord can so often be directly tied to whether or not we can see where God is going, can’t it? If I can see his goodness and his plan, then I trust. But if I can’t trace his hand, or I don’t understand why something has happened, I find it much more difficult. So often, God’s goodness is based upon my definition of goodness.
Before I became a pastor, I worked in the car industry for six years in a 100% commission job, in which there were no contracts with the dealerships I worked with. In other words, nothing was guaranteed! One of the things that God taught me (and still is) during this time was that God’s goodness can’t be dependent on my ability to see it.
God’s promises are massive in Scripture. He promises that, “He works all things for the good of those who love him.” (Rom 8:28) He says that, “He will never leave you or forsake you.” (Heb 13:5). He promises that he is, “Our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1) But do you know what he doesn’t promise? He doesn’t promise to tell us why things are happening. But here’s the great news. If you truly believe in his promises, you don’t need him to. For those who believe they have an infinite, almighty God in heaven whose every action towards us is love and grace, we don’t need to know why. We just need to know who he is.
So as you go through this time of uncertainty, look to the God who holds you in his hand. Look to his promises, and know that he is working in a million ways that we could never grasp, all working for our good and his glory.
For those of us who have not been affected, let’s remember to do two things. First, pray that God would provide for their every need. Pray that God would help them to trust in his promises. Second, look for opportunities to help them. Ask those furloughed how they are doing, and if they need anything. Let’s be a church family that takes care of one another having experienced the lavish love of God.
If you are in the situation where you have particular needs during this time, financially or otherwise, please let myself or one of the elders know. We would count it a joy to support you.