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How to Deal with Uncertain Seasons

How to Deal with Uncertain Seasons

I am a pastor, father, husband, son, and friend (to some)- all of these positions make me feel a responsibility to those whom God has placed in my life.  Given that, I usually have an answer, even though it is not always the right one, at least I feel like I have some guidance to offer those who trust me.  This spring though, we have seen a natural disaster in our hometown that tragically displaced children from their schools, families from their homes, and even closed down local businesses that have been a steady place of comfort for many years.  Just when we were beginning to see some relief from the tornado, the world has been crippled with one word, Corona, as it has shaped our current situation like few things in the history of our nation. 

COVID-19 has arrived on the scene and changed how we shop, work, visit family, and even worship.  When the recommendation to socially distance first arrived a few weeks ago, I spent an agonizing week trying to determine how to best pastor the congregation that God has blessed me to shepherd and lead the family God has placed in my care.  On one hand the truth that I trust God and on the other the reality that wisdom seemed to point to limiting exposure. How to reconcile all of those feelings and emotions has been the most difficult task I can remember ever dealing with.  My wife was my rock, listening to me wrestle with the dilemma, praying with me and secretly praying for me while I spent hours prostrate before God seeking his wisdom.  How could I tell people not to come and worship? How could I act as if it was safe to do so when I didn’t know that? How could we share Jesus with the world if we showed the world that the rules didn’t apply to us? How could we just close up and stop in the face of uncertainty?

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James 1:5 says that if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given to him. Proverbs 3:5 says that we should trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding and then verse 6 says that if we acknowledge him in all our ways he shall direct our paths.  From the season of uncertainty and agony God provided a way- a video advertising a drive in church and a friendly pastor willing to share a method revealed the answer that God had for Rocky Valley.  We began having drive-in church three weeks ago and I was hopeful that we would have perhaps 10-15 cars and 50 people to attend, but on the first Sunday more than 60 cars and over 150 people were there to worship!  God has continued to bless the efforts and dedication of our incredible media/tech team our music minister, and the praise squad as we lead from the front porch while the crowd gathers in their cars in the parking lot.  Here is a short video that was taken this week, as you can see below it is not traditional but sure is a breath of fresh air in this time.

Sometimes God uses the seasons of uncertainty to teach you a valuable lesson.  I have no idea how this all plays out. This virus may plague our nation for months and may be gone in early May. I don’t pretend to have a clue about that!  What I do know is that I have learned that in this time I will trust God to provide the answers when I seek his face whether it is in leading his church that calls me pastor or the family that calls me daddy.  Seems that in this season God has revealed what his word has proclaimed- if we seek his wisdom he is faithful to provide- God in the uncertain season will still be God when things are different and the virus has passed. The question for all of us is this; Will we  continue to seek his face or will we lean on our own understanding?

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