4/14/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Once upon a time we were living in update New York, in a little town just outside Schroon Lake called North Hudson. We were caretakers for a 150-year-old stagecoach stop. It had 15 bedrooms, and the bedrooms still had the original room numbers on the doors. In the basement was the old saloon with its beautiful mahogany woodwork, swinging doors, and the bar complete with a large mirror on the wall.
We still used the original wood furnace. The furnace was so big that 2 people would actually get inside to clean it. Our kids loved the house because it was so big that they would play hide-and-seek and we would not see them for days!! Well, that is a bit of a stretch, but it was large and we loved living there.
One of the famous people that supposedly stayed at that stagecoach stop was Teddy Roosevelt. That’s right, the president! The same one who had the vision to build the Panama Canal, and who took a bunch of men and charged up San Juan Hill. A man that had many great accomplishments but also a man that had experienced deep despair as well.
What should have been a day of celebration and rejoicing, ended in tragedy for Roosevelt. His wife had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. After his daughter was born, his wife’s vital signs took a turn for the worse. While this was going on, in another room, his mother (who the doctor thought was fighting a cold) was fighting for her life with typhoid fever.
Roosevelt’s mother fought gallantly, but a few days later she lost the fight and died. Just hours later, his beloved 22-year-old wife, Alice, also died and entered eternity. As Teddy tried to put into words how he felt, he is quoted as saying, “The light went out of my life.”
Maybe that is where you are today. Perhaps someone you know has died of covid, or you have a prodigal son or daughter. Maybe your marriage relationship is not even close to what you had dreamed it would be. For others, your children may show no interest in God, and maybe only have interest in you because of what they can get from you. Whatever it is, you are devastated and you feel like ‘the light went out of your life.’
Often things come into our life that we never expected. Things that are not on the schedule and we never saw coming. That has happened to us in the ministry! We just wanted to serve God and WHAM something hits us like a ton of bricks.
So what do you do when you are hit hard, when your heart feels like it is breaking, when you feel like God has no idea how you feel or even knows what is going on in your life?
First of all, know that God does know how you feel… O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (Psalm 139:1-3)
Nothing that comes into your life escapes the notice of God. Nothing that happens to you escapes the notice of God. The God who sees the sparrow fall, is the one who also knows your grief.
God is also sovereign. Everything that happens (the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly) is included in God’s sovereign will. Job did not have the Bible, nor did he know a lot about God, but Job understood that God was sovereign. When Job lost everything, including his children; because he believed in the sovereignty of God, Job was able to respond like this… At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:20-22)
Joseph just wanted to check on his brothers…instead he was thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, falsely accused, lied about, put into prison, and forgotten. Yet when his brothers would later show up, instead of being angry or making threats, Joseph said this… You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
Joseph could only say this because he understood that God knew everything that was going on, and Joseph knew that because God was sovereign, what others might want to use to harm him or even kill him, God would use it for his good.
I don’t know where you are today, but God does. Maybe you feel like Teddy Roosevelt: despondent, discouraged, or just wanting to quit. Maybe you are like me: finding great joy and wonderful memories in an old stagecoach stop. If you are like me, enjoy it, because when you least expect it, things might “hit you” and cause sudden change.
But when you feel like “the light went out of my life,” understand that God knows all about it. God is wanting to use these “hits” to do something great in you. So remember, God does care and He is in total control.
I would ask you to consider Peter’s advice and then watch God work… Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)