August 25, 2019

The Shepherd's Corner


As I write this our brother Tensas is lying in a hospital bed. The doctors are doing more testing to ascertain the nature of his health issues. I, too, just returned from my meeting with my urologic oncologist who told me that the MRI’s result shows there is lesion on my prostate. I will consult with my urologist before finalizing a treatment plan, which will most likely be a surgery. Such is life.

In his book, Turn Mourning into Dancing, Father Henri Nouwen encourages us to embrace all—the good and the bad—parts of life because if we don’t, we will never be able to live life with gratitude. He writes, “Gratitude in its deepest sense means to live life as a gift to be received thankfully. And true gratitude embraces all of life: the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and the not-so-holy. We do this because we become aware of God’s life, God’s presence in the middle of all that happens.” Amen!

Of course, he bases his sound advice on God’s Word, specifically the cross of Christ. Nouwen aptly explains, “The cross, the primary symbol of our faith, invites us to see grace where there is pain; to see resurrection where there is death. The call to be grateful is a call to trust that every moment can be claimed as the way of the cross that leads to new life . . . . Day by day we find new reasons to believe that nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ.”

We don’t like to hear bad news; I don’t. But we will embrace bad news because it is through this kind of news we will experience “God’s presence in the middle of all that happens.” And for that, we give thanks to God and through that we understand more of faith—trusting God despite the uncertainties and the unexpected. God has brought us this far; He can certainly bring us farther.

Pastor Paul

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