Recently, as my wife and I settled into our favorite pew a few minutes before the morning worship service, we greeted the people around us. The woman to our right was waiting for her husband, she said, and would not be remaining in that pew. A couple of minutes later he arrived.
Before she left, the woman leaned over and said to my wife, “This is going to be a very difficult service.” When Bertha asked why, she said, “I’m not at liberty to say. But you’ll see.” That changed everything for me in that worship service.
Our church is pastorless at the moment, so I knew we were not going to be hit with a resignation of our shepherd. Those are always tough. The staff is fairly depleted these days, and we have an interim pastor who flies in on weekends from another state. We’re in the early stages of raising several million dollars for renovation, but that seems to be moving seamlessly.
I had no clue.
When we sang “The Church Victorious,” I did so with a greater appreciation. Our victory in Christ is not dependent on the ups and downs of a single congregation or the momentary conditions concerning one tiny portion of the Kingdom. Whether the staff stays or leaves, whether we are meeting the budget or struggling, Christ is Lord and we are all overcomers through Him who loved us.
We take the long view. Our eyes fixed on the Lord. Worshiping Him. Bringing ourselves to Him, making ourselves completely available to Him.
Each Sunday, as we settle in to the worship service, we buckle our seat belt. Whatever comes, Lord, my trust is in you.