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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Something good from something bad

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Road, Cedar Springs

Last week the weather warmed up enough to allow me a chance to sit out on my deck and enjoy the sunshine. But I couldn’t. It’s midge season. These non-biting little flying bugs come out of the lake where I live. While in their larvae stage, they feed on algae and bacteria. They are busy filtering micro-organisms out of the water. When they mature, they gain wings and then gather in swarms, hovering over the yard and clinging to the aluminum siding. It is a veritable plague of pestilence.

But–adult midges are eaten by Bank Swallows and it has been my distinct pleasure to watch hundreds of these birds swoop and dive across the lake. Their artful flight is like a flying ballet over the water. I discovered that something bad is also good.

This reminds me of Ephesians 5:19b-20 (NIV). “Sing
and
make
music
from
your
heart
to
the
Lord,
always
giving
thanks
to
God
the
Father
for
everything,
in
the
name
of
our
Lord
Jesus
Christ.”
Sometimes it is hard to be thankful for everything when there are difficulties and calamities and struggles in life. To be thankful, in the midst of trials, is a challenge because we don’t know what the future will bring and trusting the Lord when we are in pain or brought down by loss and sadness is a leap of faith that can feel monumental and even impossible at times. 

Trusting God is not about ignoring our feelings or the reality we are living in. It is not pretending that everything is fine when it isn’t. Trusting God is believing and obeying even when times are really tough. How? Well, when we trust someone, we are comfortable being honest with them about anything and God is much more than our most trustworthy friends.

“Cast
all
your
anxiety
on
Him
because
He
cares
for
you”
1 Peter 5:7(NIV). 

“You
keep
track
of
all
my
sorrows.
You
have
collected
all
my
tears
in
your
bottle.You
have
recorded
each
one
in
Your
book”
Psalm 56:8 (NIV).

Because God loves us, we can show our trust in Him by bringing our situations to Him in prayer. God is open to hearing us and is not disappointed or frustrated by our struggles. God cares about us, and we can trust Him with everything. In trust, we do not need to look for security elsewhere because God desires to hold us tightly even in difficult circumstances. 

Sure, we won’t do this all perfectly, but thankfully God is kind and patient with us while we learn to trust Him. My thankfulness for midges happened because I noticed the flocks of Bank Swallows and my eyes were opened to this wonder. My prayer for us all is that when we are faced with hard times, may we all know that God will provide assurance, comfort, and peace to us. May we have eyes to see His grace, as God loves us through it all. 

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