Greetings brethren and Happy Sabbath! Hopefully everyone has received the announcement by now that in person services are cancelled for tomorrow. You can tune into the Charlotte webcast at 11 AM using the password 'treeoflife' or call in to (712) 770-5049, using the passcode 396900#.
With many being sick recently, Romans 12:15 (NKJV), came to mind, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Sadly, there has been much to weep for in terms of illness in our area.
Obviously, many have been battling COVID, but that's not the only trial upon our brothers and sisters right now. Some are dealing with other illnesses and afflictions, while others face sore trials of a personal nature. There is certainly no shortage of things to pray about in our little corner of the Earth here in the Carolinas.
Reasons for appreciation
During our family's bout with COVID, we received many cards, calls and comforting words from all of you. I know those cards, calls and texts amongst us continue, as we all strive to support, encourage and yes - even weep - with one another. I must say, it has truly deepened my appreciation for the wonderful church family God has blessed us with!
Along with appreciation, I believe we've all grown in empathy and sympathy for one another. While my trial might be different from yours, the love, support and care between us is the same. Certainly, the trials we endure make us appreciate not only good health, but the love of all the various, wonderfully knit together members of the body of Christ!
A time to rejoice
While we may be sharing many tears together at the moment, there a tremendous positive spiritual impact that illness and other trials bring. Peter writes, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Trials - whether they be yours, mine or someone else's - are an opportunity to increase our faith. As we pray for one another during this difficult span of time, let us not forget to rejoice at the prospect of the second coming of Jesus Christ, knowing that our faith is being tested and prepared to praise, honor and glorify Him!