"Seek the Lord's Plan...for this too shall pass "
As we enter month five of this major pandemic on our US shores, we wonder if we will ever get back to our “normal, pre-pandemic life”. Back in March 2020 we started experiencing a shutting down of our economy and social distancing measures that kept us from even from being close to our own family members. Then, BBC staff meetings were held in which it was decided, for safety of our members and the community at large, to cease all church activities for an indefinite period. Thus, a major Christian event, Easter, went by without celebrating corporately the sacrifice Christ made for mankind. Further, all other Christian events, including Christmas may not come to fruition in 2020. Musically for me, this was like a kick in the chest and unimaginable. Where do we go from here?
Then I remembered something my Mother used to say to us kids all throughout our lives; whether putting a Band-Aid on a cut when we were younger or consoling us as we were going through some kind of trouble at an older age…”this too shall pass”. I wondered where she got such calming wisdom. As a voracious reader, she might have discovered the saying from a 19th-century retelling of a Persian fable by the English poet Edward FitzGerald. Or, learned that it was notably employed in a speech by Abraham Lincoln before he became the sixteenth President of the United States. “This too shall pass” was also Lincoln’s favorite saying. He too would use this consoling statement in any and every situation he would encounter. His plodding patience and stamina was an incredible virtue during the US Civil War, a terrible war that would call on Lincoln to be both forceful and forgiving.
A second bit of encouragement for me came from my devotional readings in the book of Jeremiah 29:10-11 “10This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Now, the Israelites had to wait 70 years, a generation, to see God’s promised hope for them. They also had no temple to return to. So, when I look at our beautiful Sanctuary, which in the month of June we could worship at 50% capacity, we are not doing pretty bad, all things considered. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
I do believe God is trying to get our attention. In a way, we have become complacent and content with routines and plans of our own makings. When God strips away all activities in our lives, it causes us to take pause and consider where God would have us take the next step. Not knowing, we have to trust in him, read His Holy Word, pray for guidance and seek the Lord’s plan in our lives, for BBC and for our nation as a whole.
So, what can we learn from the Bible and those who have experienced extraordinary catastrophic events in their lives as they overcame the winds of adversity? The answer is stated quite well in the stanza from Hymn #405 …“Have Faith in God, have faith in God”…for this too shall pass.
In His Service and for His Glory,
Jon H. Vosburg lll
Music Director/Bethlehem Baptist Church