Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Dear friends and members
This has been a summer of packing and moving for my family. Fortunately Mary, the girls, and I didn’t have to move ourselves, but we helped a lot of people get packed and move. First, we moved Mary’s mom from Newark, DE to Lewiston at the end of June. I was in charge of driving the truck and it was fun, especially on the narrow roads of Lancaster County, PA. Then in July, the carpets were replaced throughout the education wing at Hope Church, which meant for the second time in a few months, I had to pack my office up and move furniture. For those of you who know how I keep my office, you know that it might be months more before I get everything unpacked again! Finally in August, my grandmother Jeanette moved from her home of 25 years to a senior apartment. This was probably the most difficult, as it meant having to go through keepsakes and memories and paring a house full of things down to an apartment. Again, for part of the move, I found myself driving a truck!
Moving is a sign change and change can make us feel as if we’ve lost our place in the world. We work very hard to carve out a space for ourselves and for our families and friends, and when we lose that space, it can make us feel fearful. All transitions are like that—whether it’s a job, a new school, a new house, a new town, or our health. Fortunately, we have our faith and we have promises from the Bible that address these fears. The Bible is full of stories of moving and God is often the one who commands a person or a whole group of people to move. God instructs Joshua and the people of Israel that as they left the wilderness and entered the land promised to them they need not fear for God will continue to be with them.
If you are facing transition this Fall, my prayers are with you! I want you to know that your church is with you! And most of all I want you to know that God is with you and will be with you. You don’t be afraid. You too can be strong and courageous like Joshua and face whatever change or challenge comes your way knowing that it’s not in your own strength that you go, but in God’s strength.
With Grace and Peace,
Pastor Matt Kofahl