We Are Never Alone

Sunday, May 17, 2020
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Listen while you read: "For All The Saints"1 (Lyrics)

For a couple of years, I was privileged to lead a number of services at a church without a pastor. When they got a new minister, my regular worship with them was over, and in appreciation, they gave me a rose bush. I planted it behind our house, and I named it after the church, "St. Andrews".

When we moved to a smaller house in December of 2013, we took it with us. I planted it in a big container, and in the spring, I planted it in the flowerbed behind the house. It did well until a year ago. That winter was really cold, and the lack of snow allowed the freezing air to threaten the life of the rose. It struggled all last summer, and that really bothered me. I did not want to lose it. So, I dug it up, put it in a pot again, and put it on the deck behind the house where I could nurse it, along with some house plants that I keep there in the summertime. Last autumn, I put it back in the flowerbed and covered it with a pile of leaves. During the winter, about 30 centimetres of snow covered it all. When I cleaned up the flowerbed in March of this year, I noticed new growth on the branches close to the ground. St. Andrews is alive and well, and I am so pleased.

Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the lives of individuals as well as the sustainability of businesses. The general consensus is that many small businesses will not be able to survive this period of inactivity. There have also been some articles in the newspapers about whether the Christian churches that are already struggling here in this rural area will be able to carry on if this lasts much longer. During this period of isolation, a number of them are sending out weekly services via the Internet, and the fear is that people will not come back. Many of us fear for the future of the church.

In my study Bible, the title for chapter 41 of the Book of Isaiah is "Israel assured of God's help". In that chapter, we read about all the good things that the Lord did for His people, even and especially during the most difficult times. Then, the Lord's wonderful words of comfort are recorded:

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (NKJV)

Are you worried about the future of the church? With tender love, God protected, cared for, and looked after the rose during its struggle to survive. Isn't His church much more valuable than a rose bush? Just so is His church covered with His love, and He will look after His church. We are never alone. That is the truth of the gospel.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are assured through Your Word and our faith in You that You will be with Your people and Your church during these days of uncertainty. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Comforting words, Joel. Be safe.

    Comforting words Joel, thank you and God bless!

    Amen Joel. Well said!
    Blessings Lynne.

    AMEN and AMEN we are not alone.

    Thank you, Joel, for this encouraging devotional. Blessings.

    Thank you, Joel. Thankfully, my church is doing well, but I know this is a need for prayer.

    Thank you, Joel. Again, a timely gem! Yes, the church will rise again, maybe even stronger for the challenge this has been and as people seek the Lord in their struggles.

    Your good words reach me and cause me to remember all the blessings I have already experienced from the hand of God. I needed to hear this today, along, I am certain, with many, many others. (I also collect and cherish, ‘rose’ stories and this one is memorable). My thanks for another.

    The church is the people, yes, but we do need to continue our financial support to our local churches. We could go back to home churches. But I do enjoy my church building and our people. I will worship where God wants me to worship. I guess God decides in the end. I miss community outreach. Thank you for writing the devotional.

    Well I think church might be different, but God is in Control so the church will be there in some form. Church May soon be open again with changes, it has been nice to have zoom but nothing like being in same building.
    At 10 am today we will have church just like regular church but greater separation.

    I did enjoy your message and I hope that you enjoy the rose for years to come, but what struck me was that you intervened to save your rose! And so it will be with the Church. We can’t sit back and leave it all to God, Like you with your rose, it’s up to us, with God’s help, to discern what’s needed to continue to share the Gospel and strengthen our community… and then to act!

    Good morning Joel,
    Thank you for this morning’s devotional. You have described a very positive analogy of God taking care of the rose bush just like He is always there to watch over and care for us. Your reference to the scripture in Isaiah 41 truly is one we need to focus on faithfully.
    Blessings for your positive view during this time that we are experiencing.

    I think the virus is forcing the church to reach out in new ways.
    Instead of waiting for people to come to them they are going where the people are.
    Just as the apostles did.

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