It is a simple, but powerful prayer: “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8 NASB). The Psalmist pleads for God’s compassionate voice to speak words of wisdom and truth so that he can walk in the correct, appropriate way. Have you ever offered a petition like that? Maybe you framed it a little differently, but the essence was the same: “God, I need to hear from you. You have always been there for me, and I know you are there still. But speak, Lord, so I can hear clearly. I need to know which way to go. I want to make a decision pleasing to you and right for me. Here I am, God. Show me your will.” If you are like me, that prayer has frequented your lips . . . especially over the last few months. Whether it was offered in the context of restructuring your business or caring for a sick family member, you have asked for help from the Lord each morning. Maybe you sought the Lord’s wisdom in how to respond to the challenging, cultural experiences we are facing. Or perhaps you offered a prayer because you just needed guidance on whether or not to leave the house! I know I find myself daily asking for His knowledge and direction!
Admittedly, I have also been known to pray for God to return some normalcy to our lives, specifically as it relates to our church activities. Yet, I am well aware that “normalcy” is still some time away. Even the Governor’s extension of Phase 2 serves as a reminder that we will be working through this recovery for months ahead. That is why we must collectively pray for the Lord to give us insight into the resumption of activities and schedules at the church. We must also ask Him to help us be creative in reaching out to our church and community members.
This past week has highlighted fresh, new opportunities for us to be the church where we are. Through Staycation Bible School, we were able to take the love of Jesus to children right in our neighborhoods. At my house, we hosted ten children! We played games, did crafts (which require a Ph.D. in craftology!), and enjoyed some awesome refreshments (Goldfish, popsicles, cheese puffs, etc). Most importantly, we shared the Bible stories of Jesus’ life, work, death, and resurrection. We emphasized how Christ is the true foundation of our lives, and we encouraged the children to trust in Jesus alone. Oh, and by the way, six of the ten children who were at our house do not attend Temple! You see, God can work in different ways to show His love even in the midst of different, and even difficult, days! (We’ll see that in our patriotic celebration on July 4, but I’ll tell you more about that next week).
Every week, we see both of our Sunday morning and Wednesday night attendance growing. We also see how God is reviving ministries and work around us. For that I am thankful! The past few months have seemed like we are in the middle of a physical and spiritual storm; and, most likely, you have heard me use the terminology of “navigating” these troublesome waters. Speaking of the church, someone once observed: “This is a big old ship. She creaks, she rocks, she rolls, and at times, she makes you want to throw up. But she gets where she’s going. Always has, always will, until the end of time.” No doubt, my friends! We have heard some creaks lately. We have experienced the rocking of the waves. But we will get where we are going! How do I know? Because we have the Captain of captains navigating our ship, and He will see us into port! Until then, may we rise each morning with the prayer, “Let me hear Your lovingkindness . . . teach me the way.” See you Sunday on campus or online!