When We Cannot

I am in a university computer lab on Monday morning writing to you. Very present in my mind is the news that the hurricane may make its path over Charlottesville. While it would be weakened by the time it reaches our community, the rain and winds could bring much damage. There are times when we cannot change things. We have no power to alter the circumstances. No human power on earth can go out to sea and take hold of a hurricane.

We are left to decide our reaction to circumstances beyond our control. Muscle, brawn, courage and intelligence will not be our savior. We can only turn to the Lord and put our faith in God.

So many times in recent weeks challenges have come to the leadership of Covenant Church. Precious people in crisis situations have called or found the church doors open in a desperate hour of their life. Hope became only a thin fragile thread in their life. Despair was like a powerful rope pulling them into pits of fear.

Circumstances of life have pressed themselves upon people who perhaps had not sinned, had not trespassed, had committed no error. The curse of sin envelopes innocent people until they fear being crushed. Hope fades.

Our summer in Charlottesville has been blessed with abundant rain. The earth is moist. More rain is coming. Should winds come it is likely trees will fall. Waters could rise.

Our hearts are anxious. We ask God what can we do?

This we know. Covenant Church has been officially designated by the federal government as a disaster center. We have signed documentation to serve our community in time of need. While I writing to you, Pastor McCready is leading the team to store a 1,000 bottles of water and make other preparations---just in case.

We do what we can. We do not do what we can and then pray. We pray for wisdom that what we do is wise and prudent, functional, practical and with the compassion of Christ.

We do not know what will happen by the time your receive this letter. But if forecasts are accurate there will be people in need.

Laila and I are doing time away and including ministry to families of pastors. My hope is that the Holy Spirit will empower Covenant leadership to serve gloriously. My hope is that the storm will not do any damage to our construction. My hope is that in this crisis we will find times and places to not only care for physical needs but to point people to Christ.

When we cannot change the circumstances we follow Christ. When we do not like what is happening we follow Christ. When we lose earthly possessions we follow Christ. When our bodies suffer we follow Christ.

A gospel hymn has a stanza: "I do not know about tomorrow....but I know who holds my hand.”

Much love, Pastor Bare

Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).