December 19, Sunday

NEW Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI who had served as a staff at several AMI churches.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Never Alone” 

Isaiah 43:1-2

“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:  “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Last year, my then nine-year old daughter’s class got put on quarantine and had to stay home for almost two weeks.  If you were lucky enough to be in a school district that met in person last year, you know that this was a fairly common occurrence.  However, for my daughter, this case was particularly concerning for a couple of reasons.  First, it was still early in the year so this was one of the first times a quarantine had been mandated.  Second, the person who got Covid was in her class and sat close to my daughter.  So my girl was scared, and I know on a few occasions during the early part of that quarantine, she went to her room and cried for fear of getting sick.  It also didn’t help that her older brother would say things like, “If you die, we all get our own rooms.”  

One day, while my daughter was feeling particularly anxious, I went up to her room to talk with her and reassure her that there was very little chance she would get Covid for a number of reasons like social distancing in the classroom, mask wearing, teachers were always disinfecting, etc.  When none of that logic seemed to bring her any comfort, I had one of my rare parenting strokes of genius.  I basically told my daughter to give me a big hug and then I kissed her on the lips.  Then I said, “Look we just shared germs; that means if you get Covid, I’m getting Covid too.  We can get sick together.”  

You should have seen my girl’s face light up.  She then said, “Thanks Daddy” and gave me another big hug.  I realized at that moment that the fear of getting Covid was only a small portion of what was troubling my daughter; her greater fear was having to face it alone.  Somehow things aren’t as daunting when you have someone to share the burden with you.  

The promise of being in Christ and having a Heavenly Father who will never leave you or forsake is one of the most underrated blessings of being a Christian.  Look, following Christ doesn’t mean that God will take away all of your troubles (as some may have preached); in fact, much the opposite is true, that is, believers can be assured that following Christ will eventually lead to trouble in this life (2 Tim 3:12).  But in those times, we can take comfort that there is a God who promises to be with us and, when necessary, carry us through them.  In our passage today, God never told the nation of Israel that they will not have to cross rivers or face firestorms; He simply told them that when you walk through these things, He would be with you.  And this is the promise for those of us who believe in Jesus

This was a tough week for the ECCR family.  We lost a longtime employee.  A few others had family tragedies.  Who knows how many others are dealing with sickness, or family troubles and sickness, personal troubles, financial troubles, etc.?  Please know that God has not left you; in fact, the contrary is true.  If you are in Christ, He promises to be with you through it all.  You are never alone. 

Prayer: Father, it is comforting to know that You have my back!  Thank for sharing Your Son with us so that we can be reconciled back to You.  I praise Your wonderful name. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today:  Romans 16

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