Pastor David's Thought for the Weekby Pastor David Alexander
Dear First Methodist Family,
”Growing up near the coast, one thing you learn is that you cannot prepare for a hurricane in the middle of a hurricane.”
Pastor Julian shared this thought with me several weeks ago. For those who may not know, Julian grew up in Missouri City, right outside Houston, which also happens to be my wife Stephanie's hometown.
What struck me about Julian’s comment was the recognition that even those who take the necessary steps to prepare do so assuming that the storm will eventually pass or dissipate. Eventually, whatever resources are set aside will be expended which creates a whole new concern if the storm has not yet passed.
I have mentioned to several others in recent weeks how helpful this analogy has been as I have been praying through where I am and my sense of where we all are right now. In a crisis, we see in ourselves or others the impact of our daily and consistent investment in our relationship with God.
The strength, patience, grace, compassion, and wisdom exhibited in those circumstances are a direct reflection of the depth of our relationship.
The way we prepare for life’s inevitable storm is the intentional time we spend in these simple but meaningful moments with God.
That being said, we cannot know in advance the intensity and duration of our future challenges. We cannot escape our humanity which means that there are storms we face for which we can never fully prepare.
I am convinced that we are all together now in a place of spiritual fatigue.
I feel that. I’ve heard expressions of it from many close friends who are pastors. That sentiment has been shared with me by many of you. One of those comments was,
“The longer this goes on the harder it gets to look up instead of living with our heads hanging down.”
I think that really captures how we all feel right now, and today I want to share with you some things I have been sharing with myself.
It’s not wrong to feel what you feel.
This fatigue is not the result of anything you have done wrong.
You are doing better than you think you are.
You are not alone.
And perhaps most importantly, you don’t have to stay where you are right now. Instead of waiting for circumstances to change around you which you cannot control, you can invest yourself in changing what is happening within you.
From my heart to yours today, I want you to hear each of these things.
I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to hear that your pastors and staff and each of your brothers and sisters in faith are walking with you right now.
We remain committed to walking by faith, following Christ, loving one another, leading with grace, remembering our call to be light in a dark and hurting world. Despite our shared fatigue, together we will continue to take whatever next step Christ calls us to take.
I hope you have taken time this week to participate in our new and revised format for our First 15 daily devotional resource. We redesigned this resource with the specific intent of addressing our spiritual fatigue. You can find that resource here.
I hope you had a chance to hear last weekend’s message and will participate in our online services this weekend as we share the second week of our series, Big God, Big ️ . Our current focus is also meant to be a direct response to our shared need.
We will be having our second Come and Go Prayer gathering on Saturday, September 26th. Again, this is another step we are taking to move forward together.
We will be launching a new Sunday evening outdoor worship gathering at the beginning of October because we want to carefully but faithfully continue taking next steps together.
I love you.
I am proud of you.
I am praying for you.