The Pastor's Peace - February, 2016
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As I write this there is snow on the ground and it is 17 degrees outside. Of course it was not supposed to be this way. I was told quite clearly that those fuzzy little caterpillars you see in the early fall were brown, and somehow that meant that it would be a mild winter. Less than a month ago it was 60 degrees outside for Christmas. The last time I had a 60-degree Christmas was when I was a child in Miami, FL. All of this combined made me certain that it would be a mild winter. There would be no snow at all, maybe lows in the 20s, I would have a cheap heating bill, and I most certainly would not be keeping my jacket on while in my office, as I type out these words. Things, however, do not always turn out as expected.

Life is unpredictable. We take pleasure in knowing how things will turn out. We like to be able to know the weather in advance, plan and save for retirement, think about how many years we will get out of our new car, and plan out special events and anniversaries months or even years in advance. If every thing goes to plan, we are elated, and perhaps feel that we have held back the forces of chaos and entropy that invade our lives. It is certainly nice when it happens, but the real world often gives you brown caterpillars followed by frozen pipes. You just never know, and for many, myself included, this can heap a great deal of stress into our lives. Just look at the stock market, for instance, or perhaps I shouldn’t even mention that.

The uncertainty of the world, when accepted, does at least make me appreciate one thing, and that is the certainty of God. If we think our lives are full of chaos now, just think of what it was like in the time of Jesus or in the Middle Ages, for that matter. The idea of a loving God that is always true, always with you, and that you will never be separated from, was of great comfort. It should still be of great comfort today. Even if the Dow drops another 500 points tomorrow, the love of God will not have decreased one little bit. Perhaps this makes the difficulty of life a bit easier, or perhaps it does not. Like many things in life, however, there is little we can do about the tragedy in life. It is therefore better to think about what we can do, which is to acknowledge God in our life, and to realize the blessings and love and joy that do come with all of the difficulty. To focus on the good and know that no matter what, God is with you, are actions that will get you through much in life. They will get you through 17 degree days, dark days, and days you don’t want to even get up. As the wild ride of life tosses you about, remember that you are not on it alone, you are with so many who love you, you are with God, and that ultimately the end will be one of peace and love no matter what we have experienced along the way.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Bryan