July 2023 Newsletter

For everything there is a season

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I’ve come to appreciate the fact that there are seasons in life.  Living in the upper Midwest, we have four distinct seasons.  Fall, Winter, Spring, and “road construction.”  Growing up on a farm emphasized seasons where we would plant, seasons we would harvest, and seasons we would blow snow.  As I now have 49 years behind me, I’ve seen some seasons in my life come and go too.  I’m not sad to see the season of diaper changing gone, but I do miss the days when all of our kids were still at home.  Recognizing there are seasons, is comforting to me.  When I am going through a difficult situation in life, I like to remind myself that it will not last forever.  The challenge is only for a season, and then it will pass.  When I am experiencing a joyful time in my life, I also remember that the joy doesn’t need to last forever.  I don’t need to hold onto it forever.  I’m glad my kids are leaving the nest.  It was also a season.  I must not fear losing the joy that I experience, or I will hold onto it too tight, and miss what God has in store for me now.  Life is seasonal.  It moves up and down and it always will.

What is not seasonal is the love of Christ.  “Give thanks to the God of heaven.  His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:26).  With the move away from the FM area, we are in a sense ending a season in our lives.  We will leave a church that I have dearly loved for almost 3 decades.  We are leaving long friendships and close family.  That is hard.  But it was a season.  It was a good season.  Within the good season there were times of real hardship as well.  At times there were a lot of tears.  But taken as a whole… it was a good season.  My testimony is that God’s love has endured.  Although we will miss our church family here very much, I am grateful for the season that we had here.  I’m grateful that our children could grow up with extended family, and experience a church body that truly cared that they knew Jesus.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people at St. Paul’s.  I’m thankful that so many people at St. Paul’s loved both me and my family.  I’m thankful that through both the joys and the sorrows of the last 29 years, God’s love has endured forever.  His love has looked different at different times, but it has endured.  I give thanks to the God of heaven.  His love endures forever.  And I’m thankful for you as well.  My love for you will also endure.

Pastor Jeremy

View the July 2023 Newsletter here.