"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for the Lord has been good to me." - Psalm 13:5-6
I attended Exploration 2019 last weekend as the Vocational Discernment Coordinator for the Northern Illinois Conference. Exploration 2019 is a United Methodist event to help young people (from around the country) discern God's calling on their lives. Essentially, I spent a lot of time meeting and listening, networking and praying for young people in our local church and larger denomination. I was surprised to hear one of the workshop leaders describe our denomination as in a "dumpster fire" mode. And yet, he shared, he witnessed God continuing to call people into ministry. In the midst of the chaos and confusion, there were clear signs of hope and life. He compared the current state of the UMC to a wildfire that burns down old trees/brush, but creates space for new life/growth. I heard my counterparts in other Annual Conferences share similar sentiments - from California to Virginia, from Minnesota to Louisiana. In the end, I returned home with a renewed sense of hope, not necessarily in our denomination, but in God. There are times when life feels like a brush fire. Economies crash. Businesses close. Marriages end. Health changes. Faith falters. In such times, the Bible teaches us to put our trust in God, to wait on the Lord. When we've reached the end of our rope, we're invited to turn and put our hope in God. So, let's start this new day with hope. Regardless of our circumstances - even in the face of storms - let's turn to the One who walks on water. Let's put our trust on the One who can still storms with a word - who breathes new life into dry bones - and let's (re)discover peace. .
Let's pray: Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your unfailing love, your unwavering grace, and your everlasting hope. Though I am weak, you are strong. Though I may not see an end to my troubles, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, help me to hold on, to persevere, to place my life (once again) into your sure and secure hands. Amen.