INTRODUCTION: Bob and Jeanette Lauer lead a large Sunday morning class, which has been suspended at the start of the current pandemic. For inspiration and connection, they now send out a weekly letter to the group. Stay tuned for a September launch of their video teaching series.
Pastor Dr Bryan Stamper
August 18th, 2020
He had nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look forward to with hope. This is Robert Frost’s dismal assessment of a man’s life in his poem, “The Death of the Hired Man.” In one sentence, Frost captured the meaning of utter despair, a despair that stretched back through the hired man’s life and beckoned him into an equally dark future.
About now, you’re saying: “Give me a break—I’ve had enough gloom and doom for today.” Sorry. It isn’t our intention to bring you down. Rather, we want to lift you up as you contrast your life with that of the hired man. We grieve for anyone whose life approaches that of the hired man. His life should not, and need not, characterize you, because the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came to give us abundant, eternal life.
So even as you continue to feel buffeted around and constrained by covid-19, remind yourself of who you are and what you have. Who are you? God’s own child. What do you have? Life abundant, love eternal, grace sufficient, and Holy Spirit power. What does this mean? That you always have hope. Even if there is no light visible at the end of the tunnel, you know that God is with you now and that the light is there awaiting you. This makes all the difference in how you think and feel and act.
Norman Vincent Peale told a story that he heard from a pediatric surgeon who met with a young boy the day before a scheduled surgery. The doctor noticed that the lad seemed gripped with fear and anxiety. “How do you feel, son?” he asked the boy. “Not very good,” the boy said. “I don’t think I’ll ever come through this operation.”
The surgeon then spent some time talking with the boy and finally asked his young patient: “Are you a Christian?” “Yes, sir,” the boy responded. “Well,” the surgeon said, “I’m a Christian, too. I’ve dedicated myself to the Lord and told Him I wanted to help people. I’m just God’s servant. So before I operate I dedicate my hands and my mind to the Lord. I want you to come to the operation tomorrow believing that we are a team at work. The team is the Lord, the Great Healer, and you, a yielded and believing patient, and me, a dedicated servant of Christ. The three of us will have success in the surgery.” The next morning, before the boy was anesthetized, the surgeon asked him how he was feeling. “Doctor,” the boy said, “I’m all right. I want you to know that all the team is here. Go ahead.”
We, too, are all right. The team is all here.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13)
Bob & Jeanette Lauer