Over this past week I heard of over a half dozen individuals who tested positive with COVID. Some of them were hospitalized – a couple in ICU. I feel blessed to say that Monica and I both tested negative last week. Friends working in hospitals say that admissions for the same are up, though not at an alarming level. It appears as though the anticipated upsurge is upon us.
Running parallel, though not necessarily connected, I am experiencing an upsurge in personal God-at-Work observations. Similarly, these are not coming at an alarming rate. The term I would prefer to use is noticeable. And I must admit, this upsurge feels really good.
Sunday morning I received a text while doing some of my early morning worship prep. The request was for some words of comfort and encouragement from God’s Word. Our texting dialogue continued into the week. By Monday afternoon the individual was offering to give a testimony in worship. God@Work!
On Monday I received an email from someone I have not seen in a long time. The subject of the email was “Hi Pastor, A Sad Question …” Over the next couple days I responded with a pair of emails, but feel as though they were totally inadequate. However, I am confident that God is @Work in this story as my prayers continue for this individual. “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3.4-5)
I saw a couple people at the polls on Tuesday that I had not seen in a while, so later in the day I texted them. This led to an enjoyable texting dialogue with one. The other called me back saying, “I am not much for texting. I would rather talk.” The conversation will continue next week with a face-to-face appointment. God@Work.
On Wednesday another individual shared with me some good news. He had been waiting very patiently for months to hear about a new job opportunity. His message simply was, “Start date is November 30.” “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and they will trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40.1-3)
I am running out of room, so instead of talking about a sermon someone shared with me or a couple other God@Work observations (ask me sometime to tell you the latest waitress story), I will wrap things up with a “foam on the top of my beer” story – you know, really nice and appreciated, but not really significant. I am at the cottage as I write this – sitting in our unheated porch enjoying the aroma of burning leaves. After countless years of having to bag the leaves due to lousy weather conditions, God decided to give me a break this year – and I am going to enjoy every minute of it! I am praising God for great weather, dry leaves, and fires that started on the first match! What a glorious upsurge! “Lord my God, you have done many things – your wondrous works and your plans for us; none can compare with you. If I were to report and speak of them, they are more than can be told.” The good news is that God is always @Work in our lives (and in his word – so I encourage you to read all the blue and bold italicized words above again) … it’s just that we cannot always see it. So, the upsurge that I am talking about is not really an upsurge in God@Work, but rather in my observing it! Now, if we can only contain that COVID upsurge.