Traces of Grace
Online Worship This Sunday
Don’t miss our worship service this Sunday morning at 10:00am, (note the time change) and live on Zoom! We will also have a Kids Corner with Linda Sabin & Dennis that you won’t want to miss. Pastor Sam will be bringing a message from “ An Amazing God Moment” from the life of Elijah. Go to the calendar on our website at fumccollingswood.org/calendar to access the Zoom link and meeting ID. After the service is over, you will be able to view a recording from our website (www.fumccollingswood.org) or our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/CollingswoodFUMC)
Thought For Today
The other day someone described one of those really challenging days: “I just got a flat tire, the dog ate my homework and I just got pulled over for going through a stop sign. Then, to top it all off, I drove to the grocery store only to realize I had to drive back home to get my mask.” However, not every day has to be that dramatic to feel the wear and tear of this pandemic season of life that God is guiding us through. This week I was directed to the words from the Lord to the prophet Isaiah in a difficult time in his journey.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, ‘declares the Lord.’ As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Oh how these words help me to remember that I don’t have to figure it all out. I don’t even have to execute the plan. The Lord is saying “Trust me I got this. I am a sovereign God, and I know what's ahead.” I have really been enjoying looking at the life of Elijah on Sunday mornings. What an encouragement to watch how the Lord guided him through every circumstance. Many of the situations Elijah did not understand, but the Lord was there all the way.
I was encouraged in my devotions this week by some thoughts by Arthur Jackson on the life of Elijah, but also about George Mueller which I would like to share as part of our thought for today. When I read the George Mueller story it reminded me of a Betty Gaebrick story she told in our church. They were praying one morning for food at “Christ’s Home for Children” orphanage for a way to feed the children. As they prayed, a potato truck broke down in front of their home, and then gave them the whole truck load of potatoes. What an amazing reminder of the faithfulness of God.
“So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.” - 1 Kings 17:15
Here are Arthur Jackson’s thoughts on George Mueller...
Three hundred children were dressed and seated for breakfast, and a prayer of thanks was offered for the food. But there was no food! Situations like this were not unusual for orphanage director and missionary George Mueller (1805-1898). Here was yet another opportunity to see how God would provide. Within minutes of Mueller’s prayer, a baker who couldn’t sleep the night before showed up at the door. Sensing that the orphanage could use the bread, he had made three batches. Not long afterward, the town milkman appeared. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. Not wanting the milk to spoil, he offered it to Mueller.
It’s normal to experience bouts of worry, anxiety, and self-pity when we lack resources essential to our well-being—food, shelter, health, finances, friendships. First Kings 17:8-16 reminds us that God’s help can come through unexpected sources like a needy widow. “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug” (v. 12). Earlier it was ravens that provided for Elijah (vv. 4-6). Concerns for our needs to be met can send us searching in many directions. A clear vision of God as the Provider who has promised to supply our needs can be liberating. Before we seek solutions, may we be careful to seek Him first. Doing so can save us time, energy, and frustration.
What a great reminder of how God provides for us and cares for us in every situation. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
If you have any prayer concerns or ways we can serve you, please let us know. We desire to journey together with you, even through these days of social distancing. Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
Pastor Sam and the Staff