My senses have been very heightened over the last few weeks to the state of our economy. It seems that everywhere I turn, every TV report and every radio report speaks of the grim economic place that we are in as a nation. If it's not health care, it's gas prices. If it's not bankruptcy, it's foreclosure. If it's not talk of recession, it's mass layoffs and unemployment. I heard about each of these on the radio today just on my 20 minute round trip commute.
I have family that are struggling and friends that are afraid for their future. I just ran into an old friend at Bowie Town Center tonight who has had to pick up another job on top of teaching. She is not the only person that I know that has had to or is about to work 2 jobs. People in our church have lost their jobs and homes or are on the verge.
Just this afternoon, I met with 2 Pastors of a 1,500+ member church who are in the middle of a 25 million dollar building project as a church. All progress has halted! The building is 92% done and sitting there untouched. No more money. Waiting on possible new loan approval by May 10th. These are just a few of the realities that I recognize as I observe and listen.
Some questions flood my spirit tonight. Questions like:
- What can I do?
- What could we do as the church of Jesus Christ?
- How should the church (CCF and beyond) be speaking and ministering to people during these unsettled times?
- How much do we really know? How many people are hiding the seriousness of their financial and emotional pain as a result of embarrassment.
I certainly have more questions than I do answers tonight. A few immediate answers that come to my mind seem too "cliche-ish" to even share. I am seeking the Lord in prayer about these questions. I want to pray more and I invite you to as well. And I want to discern how we might publicly address these realities more directly from the pulpit. There is power in naming our struggles.
Lord, you are indeed Jehovah Jireh. You always have been and you always will be. Help these time to convince us all more deeply to trust in you as our source!