November 4

November 4, 2020
by Tim Stahlke
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22
What are you missing during these Pandemic days?
I’m a fairly optimistic type Christian, but during these times many of us are experiencing a form of grieving- not simply missing someone, but missing some things- those pre-pandemic times of normalcy? Maybe it’s eating out at a favorite restaurant, gathering physically with close friends (Extroverts only?), being in class at school or even in the office at work (really?) Large sporting events or a music concert…not anytime soon. We are grieving during these SIP/ Pandemic days. My big one is performing music (well pounding on drums), in my secular groups, but more profoundly on the St Tim’s worship team.
I spent years of Sundays looking out at all of you in the fine congregation from behind the drum set, the last few years socially distanced behind a plexiglass acoustic drum cage! MUSIC; such a powerful form of praise expression, amplified when you’re using your God given talents (or pounding on drums!) to lead worship and praise God! It’s a gift that I’ve certainly missed and grieved about during these last 7 months! It doesn’t get much better than driving the beat in an awesome worship tune- a really pure form of experiencing the Holy Spirit, feeling my hands being driven as I apply the drumsticks to the drums- sounding better than my skills as a musician allow-truly a peak spiritual experience to be on the worship team. Being chief of sinners though (simultaneously saint), I do like a special term to describe the spiritual example of the “whole being greater than the sum of its parts”.
Things to never take for granted when and if they do return to some semblance of “the old normal”. I’d even appreciate the occasional Sundays when I challenge myself and try to read the lessons. A drummer that can read – truly a sign of God’s grace!
I’ve enjoyed coming together to worship (now 3 times) and even being allowed to “mask sing”, but alas it’s just not enough!! Makes me long even more for us to really be back in the sanctuary- hearing a great sermon, understanding the children’s message, and making a joyful noise with the full-on worship team experience; with all of you singing with lips and smiles, inside with good acoustics. 
I’m sure many of you are missing an aspect of your lives which has been put on hold, but rest assured, I’ve never felt more hopeful during these times- God gives us so many examples of that basis of hope in scripture.  Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. God’s love and presence with us now has never been more apparent. God uses our grief to comfort us, draw closer to Him, increase our faith and prayer. Look for those signs of His grace, pray for Him to show you- In our families, Grow Groups, worship services; in seeing the little things each day- the “helpers” that Fred Rodgers Mother told him to keep an eye out for. Long after this pandemic, we will see clearly where God was at work- walking with us each day, guiding us through difficulties and strengthening us. Why else would I be practicing my drums in the garage, or even set my alarm for each new day…Faith
My friends our faith gives us hope and reassurance that the day will come-to once again praise Him with LOUD CRASHING CYMBALS!! 

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