I think we would all agree that it’s been a wild couple of weeks. Who would have thought that Austin, Tx could experience snow twice in one winter? And not just snow, but 6 inches of snow and single digit temperatures! My mind is still in a little bit of shock that we were in the middle of an unprecedented winter storm last week, yet today I’m planning to go for a walk this evening in beautiful 75 degree weather. Living in Texas certainly keeps us all on our toes.
That being said, I know this past week has been incredibly difficult for many of you. Having no power, water, or access to resources can be a terrifying experience. Further, having to deal with bursting pipes and unexpected expenses is both frustrating and stressful for any homeowner. I’m praying for each of you who were impacted by the storm, and please know that our church does stand by you today. We realize that this storm is not over for everyone, and we want to do everything we can to come alongside you in the coming days. Please do not hesitate to contact our church office if there is any way we can serve you.
Many in our city are now wondering, “where do we go from here?” I believe the wisest answer is that we need to go worship. In a moment of crisis, each of us as believers have a decision to make. Will we run from God because of our problems, or will we run to Him with our problems? Unfortunately, many in this world choose the former. They become so fixated on their present afflictions, that they forget they do not have to carry them alone (1 Peter 5:7). Jesus Christ, our sympathetic high priest, is ready to serve as our strength and our anchor in every storm (Hebrews 4:16, 6:19). But my question for you is where are you running today?
In the Old Testament, King David understood heartache and suffering. As you may remember, the prophet Samuel privately anointed young David as King of Israel, yet it took many years for David to actually sit on a throne. Instead of ruling the kingdom, he spent many nights sleeping in caves and hiding for his life. And even after he finally received the crown, you may remember David once again returned to his refugee days after his own son Absalom led a revolt against him. Yet amidst all of the turmoil in his life, we still remember David as a “man after God’s own heart.” This is because he worshipped God in every storm and consistently turned to Him in moments of crisis.
Psalm 63 is one of those moments. David is on the run and hiding in the wilderness, yet his faith remained steadfast. He said, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands (Psalm 63:1-4). As was usually the case, David is seen seeking God amidst his suffering, and we can hear the longing in his heart to return to the sanctuary.
I don’t know about you, but I can personally resonate with David’s words. In our own way, we too have been living in a dry land with no water. Likewise we have been displaced from the sanctuary for far too long. It’s been a long couple of weeks, and truthfully it has been a long year. We’ve had to close our doors now on two different occasions in 2021 due to trying circumstances. However, I’m excited that this weekend we are finally going to “do church.” Yes, we the people are the church, but there is also power and purpose in the church assembling together (Hebrews 10:24-25). And i believe we all need to experience the renewing power of worship once again. This Sunday we’re going to worship Him and praise His name with our lips. We’re going to observe the Lord’s Supper and remember that Christ has given us everything we truly need.
If you’re ready to gather physically in-person, I’d encourage you to join us this Sunday at ABC. It will be a special day as we re-open the doors and gather to honor Him. If you are not ready yet, we of course will meet you in your home through our regular online platforms. However you choose to worship this Sunday, I encourage you to earnestly seek Him through it. If you do, I believe that God will renew your mind and restore the hope in your heart that we have in Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Peter 1:3). Where will you go in this time of turmoil? I hope you’ll go with me to the sanctuary this Sunday.