Pastor Cal's
Weekly Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column
for the Spirit Page of
the Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
God is Always With Us                                         April 11, 2013

Dear friends,

It sounded like I was walking through a construction zone. The banging went on
non-stop for several minutes. They had prepared me for it. I knew it was coming. It
was still unsettling. Yet despite the noise and the confined space, I had a peace
about me that was very comforting.

It was quite a contrast from just a few minutes before. This was my first MRI. I
was so nervous. All I could think of was the cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. The
image of him running down the long hallway before jumping out the window was
etched in my mind. I wanted to run too.

I knew I had to do this though. The ache in my shoulder had been growing in
intensity over the last few months. So I mustered up all the courage I could and I
laid down on the table. I closed my eyes, said a short prayer, and the twenty third
Psalm came to mind. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."  

When the technician asked me if I was alright and I told her I was good to go. I
spent the next thirty minutes with God. I prayed for my dad and his struggles. I
lifted up Lori and asked for healing after her recent surgery. I thought of a friend
whose marriage was falling apart. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, God took my
mind off my own worries and helped me focus on others, all the while, reminding me
that I was not alone.

The truth is that all of us face trials. The good news is that God has promised to be
with us when the trials come. He will not leave us. He will hold our hand and stay
with us in our darkest night. King David understood this when he wrote the words,
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear. For
you are with me!"

I don't know what challenges lie ahead of you in the coming months, but I know who
will be there to carry you through. The Scriptures tell us that the one who met
Moses at the Red Sea will be there to create a path for us. The one who protected
Daniel in the Lion's Den will keep us safe. The one who greeted Mary at the empty
tomb will be there to wipe away our tears.

Praise God!  See you in church. Cal