Pastor Rene' Bogue
Have I not commanded you?
These words rose up in me as soon as I went to prayer this morning. I knew the words that followed were a call to courage. This was not surprising in these times, in this uncertainty. But, what, I wondered, would be the specific challenge that would face me today that would make me need to be courageous?
Today was payday. And on this particular payday of the month, I have two large obligations – my rent and my tithe - and this month I have a quarterly tax payment due. This is usually routine for me. But this time I hesitated for just a moment. Deeply grateful for still having a paycheck, I felt the distant voice of an old foe: “What If?”
He should know by now I would not entertain him.
As a survivor of four bouts of aggressive cancer, I learned long ago that I cannot entertain “what if.” To keep my mental and spiritual health, and by extension help my physical health, I cannot afford to watch the imaginary dominoes fall until I am in the depths of worry.
I have learned, instead, to say, “even if.”
Even if hard things befall me – the Lord is with me. He has seen me through the pain and horror of cancer. He has seen me through the deeper pain and horror of loss. He has walked beside me, provided for me, and whispered love to my heart. He has been my Guide and Companion in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health. In birth and in death.
I wrote my checks this morning, knowing that so many around the world are facing similar acts of courage today. I almost typed “small acts.” But for many today, those are great acts.
For those of us who are able, our decisions to continue to pay our taxes will help things flow to those with less.
When we continue to pay our tithe, our churches are able to stay operating, paying their staff and helping people. Even paying our utilities makes a difference. We are all part of each other. We all matter. What we do matters.
I opened up my Bible app, and read the rest of Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Let me encourage you – today and every day – to turn away from the path of “what if” and remember:
Even if. He is with you wherever you go.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.