As I sit in the dark of the early morning, listening for the voice of God in the quiet around me, I am overcome with thankfulness. The uncertainty of this world is steadied in the certainty that the Lord is faithful and that I can trust him. That you - my friends and my family - can trust him. In trusting, we are careful to step out in faith, not in foolishness or presumption. We cannot presume to know how others are feeling, or what they are thinking, or how they are behaving. I love how, in difficult times, human nature can find the funny. We are all laughing at the toilet paper memes. Yet, I know that behind the funny there are people who are genuinely afraid, anxious and desperate. Let us not presume anything about others. Sure, let us laugh at jokes while we stand six feet apart, but let us also look with kind eyes, speak with soft words and genuinely ask how the other is doing. Scripture uses a term that is relevant in times like this – “the fool”. The fool is the person who acts brashly, not knowing or not heeding the facts. The fool is the person who sleeps while the sun shines, not gathering the harvest and then going hungry in the winter. May we, followers of Christ, not be foolish. Let us gather the facts from reliable sources, let us act on this knowledge and let us behave in ways that seek the good of others, not just the good of ourselves. Then there is faith. Our faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith substantiates our hope for a good outcome. At the moment, what we see is an ever-changing landscape. Our faith gives us a solid foundation that does not move with every wind of change. When we look to Jesus in the early morning hours, he teaches us to treat others as we would want to be treated. That gives us a task that will occupy our minds and hearts for the day. As we love others, it drives out fear – both in the other and in ourselves. As we turn our face toward the Lord in the middle of a crazy day, we find wisdom and a calm spirit. Jesus is peace and peace is contagious. As we come to rest at the end of an uncertain day, we turn our thoughts to our Father and ask of him what we need to learn. If we but listen, his Holy Spirit will be our teacher, our comforter and our guide. This then, is faith! Orchard: Africa is actively working in all our communities to bring this message of hope and peace. At this time, food security is foremost on everyone’s mind. The poor cannot stockpile so we are working hard on their behalf to increase our resources on the ground in order to step up our feeding projects. I am so grateful to you, our partners, in this endeavor. Your continued support is received with joy and never taken for granted. I commend you for your faith in action.
May we think on these things!