God, Where are You?

In all their distress he too was distressed.  Isaiah 63:9

When bad things happen, we may never understand the why. God tells us, “For my
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Dr. James Dobson said: “Trying to analyze His [God’s] omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behavior of man.” It is simply not possible. But there is one thing we can be sure of. “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful,” (Psalm 25:10) whether we understand them or not.

When we encounter difficulties, it is easy to jump to conclusions. We may think God is mad at us or He is punishing us. We wonder if God is not blessing us because we have disappointed Him in some way. But throughout the Bible, we see that some of God’s closest friends experienced the darkest nights. Joseph suffered. David suffered. The disciples suffered. Elizabeth suffered. Mary suffered. Martha suffered. Mary (Jesus’ mother) suffered. Paul suffered. Jesus suffered. Each one of these men and women were in the middle of God’s will. The abundant life that Jesus came to give does not come without struggle any more than a butterfly can soar without a struggle from its cocoon. We would never slice open a cocoon and expect to find a butterfly ready to fly. Without the struggle, the butterfly could not grow strong enough to take flight.

Jesus warned us that we would have struggles in this life, and yet struggles always
seem to catch us by surprise. “Consider it all joy,” James said, “when you encounter various trials …” (James 1:2). Notice James said when and not if.

In one beautiful sentence, we catch a glimpse into the heart of God as we go through tough times: “In all their distress he too was distressed,” (Isaiah 63:9). We may not see God’s face during the difficult days of pain, but you can be sure He is there, and many times His face is streaked with tears.

There are times when we may have cried out with King David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” only to discover that He was right there with us all the time. None of us knows what the future holds. Sometimes, we just need to put our hand in God’s and walk around the next corner with Him, even when we don’t understand. In that journey of the unknown, we’re apt to experience moments of sudden glory.

Grace & Peace, Pastor Bob

AS MANY OF YOU ALREADY KNOW, worship and church sponsored small groups have been canceled effective immediately until further notice.
   Even though we cannot gather for worship at this time, the church bills have not stopped. The church is getting by “paycheck to paycheck”, like many of you. We are taking measures to try to weather storm, so we return to worship and continue to serve the community when the situation improves. There is not much in the budget that can be trimmed, as so we need our members to continue to contribute what you can as to tithings and offerings.
Finance information-
   * Monday’s of every week we will collect, record and deposit any pledges, Donations and Loose Funds.                 Please mail to the church at: 1st UMC of Chenango Bridge, PO Box 501, Chenango Bridge, 13745.
    * Bank Accounts and Expenses will be reviewed weekly to ensure Bills are paid in a timely manner.
    * Any financial questions should be directed to David Lewis at 607.727.0250.
    * Search for any potential financial opportunities that will provide additional income to meet the continue          operation expenses through this unknown period.

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