If you are sports-minded the words “tough season” may remind you of a bad year for your favorite team. Perhaps they didn’t make the playoffs or, even worse, they came short of having a winning season, or, even worse yet, they failed to rise above last-place in their conference!
As a church family, we are in a tough season. But it is not a season of “losses” versus “wins” but of hardships and difficulties.
On the one hand it is as though we are experiencing an epidemic of medical problems. The number of folks diagnosed with cancer this year is startling, with many people having surgery and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. A number of folks have had other types of surgery, others have made trips to the ER, and others yet have walked with their loved ones through these crises.
On another hand, as a church family, we have all together shared the loss of our Associate Pastor, Jeff Horch. God has led Jeff to a new ministry as Senior Pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Bourbonnais, Illinois. While we are happy for Jeff and the wonderful opportunity God has opened for him, we are sad for our loss of Jeff and his family.
How do we respond? As a family, we weep with those who weep and we rejoice with those who rejoice. We come alongside those who are suffering and offer support and encouragement. We enter into their suffering with them and seek to be Christ’s hands and heart to them. We also come alongside those who rejoice and enter their joy, thanking God along with them for His gracious leading and provision.
As a family we pray. We call upon our Father to sustain and strengthen, to bless and guide, and, especially, to work out His good will in all of our lives.
And we hold fast to our Head, Jesus Christ. After all, He is our all. He is our hope, our goal, our wisdom. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, in tough seasons and triumphant seasons alike. He is personally acquainted with excruciating suffering and He has been exalted by the Father to the highest place.
So let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He knows all about tough seasons and He does not abandon us when we go through them.