Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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God Is Always In the Room

                                                                    August 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

I remember thinking, "I never want to see one of these
waiting rooms again. I was sitting right outside the ICU
at Yale New Haven Hospital almost thirty years ago.
Those waiting rooms are places where helplessness and
frustration reign. In that room, you are confronted with
the fact that sometimes there is nothing you can do, but
wait on God.

I've spent many hours in places like that over the years.
I am the pastor. That's my job. On that particular day,
a friend's husband had been rushed to the hospital. His
throat had closed up. He couldn't breathe. The doctors
and nurses worked diligently on him. In the end he was
put on a ventilator.

For the next three days his family sat and waited to see
if he would recover. I visited regularly. I prayed. I felt
so useless. I wished I could have commanded him to get
up and walk like Jesus did in the Scriptures. Yet, he
remained immobile. Every day I would come back and
repeat my prayer for his healing. I'd ask God to comfort
his family.

I can't tell you why things like this happen. It's easy to
look up and blame God. God is supposed to be in control.
Why would a good God let something like this happen?
Doesn't God love us and care for us? Rabbi Harold
Kushner asked these questions in his famous book, When
Bad Things Happen to Good People, back in 1981.

Kushner asked,"If God is good, then why do these bad
r to give us freedom. This opens the door for us to fall
prey to the consequences of other people's actions. In
other words, God gives up his power so we can experience
life more fully. But it comes with inherent risks of pain
and loss.

The good news is that God hasn't left us to face these
trials alone. For the Christian, we find our hope in the
incarnation. In Christ, God promised he would be with
us in our time of deepest need. God is there with those
who mourn. God is there with those who are losing hope.
God is there for those who are suffering and in pain.

I've learned, since that day long ago, that it is often while
sitting in that waiting room outside the ICU, that God is
found and prayers are heard. It is in our darkest night
that he comes and sits with us to watch and wait. He
brings comfort in the company of friends. He's told us
time and again, "Do not fear. I will be with you." As I
look back, I can see it clearly now. God was there all
along. I just didn't see him.

We are living through difficult days. It is easy to lose
hope and wonder where God is. Let me tell you, that
you will find God when a helping hand is given, a
comforting word is shared, a prayer is offered, and love
is made real. You simply need to open your eyes and
look around. When you do, you will find him. For God
is always in the room.

I don't know what you are going through right now.
My prayer is that He brings light into your darkness
and hope into your tomorrow.

God bless. See you in church.
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly

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.
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