Thursday, June 30, 2016

Empty Nest, Emptiness

It is my desire to try and blog at least once a month. However, here I am desperately trying to meet my "deadline" before July 1st. I have struggled all month to try and feel inspired by some situation or circumstance that would move me to share. However, the reality is this month I have not felt moved to blog. As I was sitting in my den looking out at our deck where we have a bird house, I was symbolically reminded how sometimes our spirits go through dry seasons. I look forward every year to the birds nesting in the bird house. Typically the resident visitors are house wrens who loudly announce their presence whenever they come back from a foraging mission. However, this year to my delight we had black-capped chickadees lay claim to the free lodging. Unfortunately the resident chickadees were constantly harassed by robins who were nesting in nearby trees. As a result what started out as a promising hope for new life ended up with the chickadees "flying the coop." Our church is currently undergoing a difficult season wherein we may be forced to close our doors this fall due to financial constraints. That empty bird house reminded me of the emptiness I may feel if we no longer have a place as a church community to call home. I am convinced that those black-capped chickadees were able to find a new place to start over. Likewise, God is faithful and will lead us to our next "nesting place." In Psalm 42, the psalmist laments that his soul is earnestly seeking God for deliverance from the oppression of his enemies but he is having trouble finding God. "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng." (Psalm 42:1-4) I pray that our church will not have to reminisce about how we once used to worship God joyfully together. There may be some outside the church that question, "Where is your God?" However, despite the struggle the psalmist yet has hope. "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42:5) The psalmist repeats his hope at the end of Psalm 42 and again at the end of Psalm 43, which scholars believe were created as one single prayer and later separated. The point the psalmist seeks to emphasize is despite the fact that there is an emptiness in his soul, that does not take away from the fact that God is still faithful and he can rejoice and trust in the One who is both Savior and Lord. Likewise, our church family will continue to believe and trust in God to move in the midst of our situation for His honor and glory. 
Thanks Be To God!
Pastor Sheree