VBS this year was framed around the theme of staying aware of all the ways God shows up during hard times as well as happy ones. Sometimes change is for the better, but all too often it is not what we would have chosen.
There are many ways that unwelcome change shows up. We lose a job and are not sure where to find a new one. Or we find the new job, but it means we must move to a new part of the country. Kids grow up and set off on their own, and our long-standing role as parent changes. Mounting health issues force us to abandon our beloved homes and seek assisted living. Congregations and denominations falter and worry about surviving all the cultural changes they encounter. Eventually, growing older catches up with all of us and brings new limitations, diminished options and the loss of what used to bring so much pleasure.
When loss and unwelcome change breaks in and seems to dominate our lives, it is easy to feel like God has turned away and left us floundering alone. Why did this happen? Why do I have to go through this? I don’t want this in my life. God, do something! How can we continue to see and celebrate God’s goodness when everything seems so dark and messed up?
At VBS we talked with the kids about how to keep our eyes and hearts open, trusting that when change comes and we experience loss, God’s goodness shows up in new and perhaps unexpected ways. Sometimes, in order to make it through a very hard change, we must focus on very small, daily blessings to remind ourselves that we are still being cared for. This week, I am grateful for the children, teen and adults who gathered here at Peace to celebrate God’s goodness. For now, today, the Spirit is at work within these lives and within these walls!
Thanks be to God!