4-23-2020 – e-News

Hello Parkgate!
 
Amid the current global situation, many of us likely find ourselves asking a simple question: “Why am I here?” Not in the, “Why do I exist?” way, rather the “Why am I stuck here?” way. We believe in a great and glorious God who has called us to do great things in His name. So, why are we stuck in our houses? Why can’t we go outside? Why are we so cut off from each other? These are good questions to ask. It’s our responsibility to try and find an answer, as best as we are able.
 
Looking at the whole of scripture, we can see story after story of people who found themselves in less than desirable circumstances. The Israelites found themselves in slavery and exile several times throughout the Old Testament.
 
Daniel was thrown into a den of lions for praying. Elijah was relentlessly pursued by Jezebel for preaching God’s Word. Pastor Jim is currently teaching on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which Paul wrote from captivity. All these people found themselves in places that were difficult. Does this mean that God did not love them? Does this mean God did not care for them? No!
 
In Exodus 3:7-8, God tells Moses “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people … I have heard their cries of distress … So, I have come down to rescue them …” These are not the words of an uncaring, cruel God. Daniel was thrown in the lions’ den by jealous advisors, not by God. God protected Daniel from their cruel plans, keeping him safe from the lions through the night. Although Elijah had to flee from those who wanted him dead, in 2 Kings 2 we see God reward his life of service by taking him up into Heaven. When Paul is converted in Acts 9, the words of Christ tell us that Paul has been chosen to share the Gospel with the gentiles. That being the case, God would clearly use Paul no matter where he found himself.
 
All these examples point to the fact that finding yourself in a rough place in life does not mean that God does not care about you. In fact, God can and will use you during any and every circumstance, if you will place your life in His hands. Perhaps asking, “Why am I stuck here?” is the wrong question. Perhaps we should be asking, “How can God use me where I am right now?”
 
God chose the people of Israel to be His messengers to the world in the Old Testament. God chose Elijah to be a prophet to get the Israelites to repent and return to him. God used Daniel to show His power through Daniel’s faith to multiple Babylonian kings. God used Paul, from prison and house arrest, to deliver messages of hope that would resonate through the centuries. If God can use these people in the unique places they found themselves in, surely he can use us.
 
How can God use you right now? Perhaps He has called you to a place of isolation so that you might learn to depend upon Him like never before. Perhaps He has called you to a home with a family that you have not spent enough time connecting with, so that you might grow together in your relationships and learn to honor Him with them. Perhaps He has called you to be a loving neighbor to your literal neighbors, caring and providing for them in a way you have never done.
 
No matter what, God can use you regardless of where you find yourself. The whole of scripture resonates this truth. You may not always care for where God is calling you, but that is where we must learn to trust in Him and go where He is leading us. Speaking from experience, listening to God has yet to prove a disappointment. Listen to Him, trust in Him, and seek ways that He can use you where you are at right now. Do not ask, “Why me, God?” Instead, ask “How can God use me next?”
 
Looking for the next opportunity,
Pastor Andrew
 
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