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
He Is Always With Us                          April 19, 2013

Dear friends,

I will never forget the day my good friend, Cliff, told me he had cancer. I was
standing outside the kitchen at church. I heard the words and couldn't quite
comprehend what he was saying. As the impact of what he was telling me took hold,
I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I couldn't breathe.

Questions came flooding to my mind. How? Why? It didn't make sense. Cliff was
good man, a strong Christian. It actually scared me. I suddenly felt very vulnerable
myself. If this could happen to Cliff, it could happen to me or anybody at all.

Life is scary when we realize how fragile it is. I think that is why the terrible news
we heard coming out of Boston this week has brought us to tears again. Following
so closely on the heels of other recent tragedies, we are reminded that there are
truly no safe havens in this world.

When I was growing up I thought that if I had enough faith I could avoid bad things
happening to me. I soon learned that this was wishful thinking. Matthew 5:45 in the
Christian Bible says - “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and
sends rain on the just and on the unjust." In other words, stuff happens no matter
who you are.

God never promised we wouldn’t have to walk through the dark times. At almost
every funeral I conduct I read the Twenty-third Psalm. It is there in black and
white. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” But it
doesn’t end there. It goes on to say, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

I have often heard people ask, “Where was God in that terrible situation?” and I
respond that God’s spirit was right there, moving in and among the people to bring
comfort and assistance where it was needed most. On Monday we watched heroes
emerge out of the bedlam in Boston. They rose up above their own fear to reach
out to help one another.

Guys like Carlos Arredondo and Joe Andruzzi, were seen carrying victims away
from the disaster scene to places where they could be treated. There is no doubt in
my mind that God was with them and the countless others who reached out to help
on that dark day.

How do I know? My friend Cliff told me. You see God came to him in his darkest
days and carried him through. I have heard a few survivors of each of these
tragedies who will tell you the same thing. God was there for them and he will be
there for us too. So do not be afraid!

God bless. See you in church.  Cal