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Dear Faith Family, 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress, (Psalm 46:1, 11). 

It started out with a bang.  Literally.  When I arrived at a comfortable spot on the elm tree above the grown-up cutover, I could see down to the little opening at the edge of the woods.  And what to my wandering eyes did I see?  A hog was already present waiting for me!  (Sorry Dow and Travine). 

And then?  Maybe an hour and a half later, a decent buck showed up.  What a morning!  Every time we head to the stands we pray for safety and for the privilege of harvesting one or more of God’s creations.  Friday’s answer was delightful.  He was obviously present extending His grace. 

Elbow deep in cleaning the harvest, my phone rang.  It was my mother.  When I answered, it wasn’t her voice that I heard.  The lady on the other end of the phone quickly informed me that my mother had been in an automobile accident. 

Just that quick.  Everything changed.  God was gone.  His grace absent. Or so it seems.  I know that He’s ever present.  I know that He never leaves or forsakes us.  What a twist and turn of events.  From the celebration of a successful hunt to sitting next to mom’s bed in an emergency room.  Was God really present on the other side of Fort Jackson and at the same time on Dreher Shoals Road? 

I can tell you this much: the questions abound.  What if…?  What if…?  But the answers escape me.  What to do when Friday morning turns into Friday night?  The only anchor for my soul is the very Word of God.  What does He say? 

Well, He told Joshua: Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go, (Joshua 1:9). He told Isaiah to: fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, (Isaiah 41:10). 

The Psalms are full of reminders of the presence of our God.  And the New Testament is no stranger to the presence of our God who will never leave us nor forsake us.  Nothing, we are told, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

I don’t have to understand.  It doesn’t have to make sense to me.  The answers needn’t be mine.  All I need to know is the presence of my God.  His Word anchors my soul on a stormy sea. 

Pastor Karl