God is Always Near

“God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

Dear People of St. David’s,

I pray that you and yours are safe and well and that you are enjoying the sunshine these longer days are bringing. I’ve missed being with you these past few weeks on a mini-Sabbatical, though you were never far from my thoughts and prayers. I was able to rest and work on a course focused on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (which starts Sunday). And while away, I remembered how much I love this ministry and being here with you.

We have all been going through a challenging and troubling time these past two years. We’ve all had challenges and troubles that have affected the way we live, work, go to school, worship, and participate in the world. And even though some of us have thrived and learned new ways to face the world and live better lives, it’s been hard. As we come out of it, I pray that we all have thankful hearts and are better persons because we’ve come through.

Pandemic or no pandemic, in every life there are times of trouble and struggle. Sometimes it’s personal or familial. We all have times of personal struggle through life and each of us could make a pretty long list if we took the time. Sometimes it’s more communal or public as it has been through this pandemic or wars raging in the world or economic downturns or periods of inflation or any number of troubles and struggles that we face and experience together.

Life can be hard. And though our struggles are often the way we grow as persons or as a community as we learn to live better lives, real troubles and struggles challenge us. Sometimes they can seem beyond our abilities to face and overcome.

Well, thankfully, we never face our troubles alone. The Christian promise is that God is always with us – as near as our next breath and able to overcome whatever we may be facing. We may not always feel like God is here with us, but the truth is that God is here and God is sovereign. God has the first and the final word and that word is always life and more of it.

The creator and sustainer and redeemer of you and me and all that is chooses to be with us through our troubles. God chooses to be with us to give us strength and courage, to change the circumstances, or to simply draw us close to God’s heart so that we know we are never alone. And whether it is in this life or the next God will see us through.

So whatever you may be facing or will face in this life, take heart that God is here. We never face our troubles alone.

See you in church.

Grace and Peace,
The Rev. W. Frank Allen