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April 8, 2020 | Pastoral Thoughts on Trouble’s Limits

Dear Friends,

What’s the horizon of this shutdown?  It seems to keep expanding – two weeks, a month, two months, three months.  We have tried to stay positive –as we should! – about how God is working, what we are learning, and how we can serve others.  But now we plod into week three (or is it four?).  The cumulative strain of missed opportunities, contracted lives, financial hardships, and maybe illness among loved ones weighs on us.  We wish we knew how long this will continue.

We should remember, though, that God controls the duration of every difficulty.  He determines every sorrow’s span.  Before Easter week, Jesus repeatedly predicted that he would die and then rise on the third day.  God set the right interval:  death would last long enough for Christ our substitute to clearly come under its power, yet it would end soon enough to fulfill the promise that God would not “abandon” Christ to the grave (Ps. 16:10).  To God, the sad period between Good Friday and Easter was just right.

God likewise plans the shutdown’s duration.  Any feelings of weariness that overtake us at this point come by his design.  God is reminding us to find lasting hope in our Savior.  So as we wish for this situation to change, let’s not forget that Jesus’ resurrection does fundamentally change every situation.  Because he has taken our death and guaranteed us eternal life, we know that neither death nor any of its tentacles like viruses ultimately control our lives.  Every difficulty will have its expiration date, but the grace of Christ will continue without end.

Warmly,

Pastor Dan