Several people have asked over the past few days- what became of Chester? In case you’re just joining me, Chester is the beast (ostensibly a squirrel) who was lurking about in the shadows of my church. Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, no one has actually seen the illusive creature, but forensic evidence of his existence has been impossible to deny. SO…last Friday I set a trap (humane, thank you very much) for him in the basement, baited with yummy-looking peanuts. And I waited- even driving to the church at odd hours of the day and night to check the trap because I didn’t want him to spend too long with food or water. (I know, I know- it’s JUST a squirrel. I can’t help it! I MUST have “SUCKER” written across my forehead!) Thus far, Chester has proved to be a crafty adversary- NO signs of him and NO disturbing of the aforementioned peanuts. He’s either pulled a D.B. Cooper (look it up) and gone deep, DEEP, DEEP “underground”, or he slipped out the way he came in (which, by the way, I also can’t figure out!) and has been telling great tales of life on the “inside” around the nightly squirrel campfire. So- score at the half: Chester- 1, pastor- 0! The trap remains sets, I continue to check it, and Chester probably sits in a tree somewhere in town having a good laugh at my expense!
As elusive as Chester has proved to be, I find for many hope is even more elusive. In the midst of an economy that seems to be crashing down around us, in the midst of a dramatic increase in violent crime, in the midst of a society that seems to reward “bad” behavior, hope is a scarce commodity- highly valued but hard to find. So, where DO we find our hope? Where CAN we turn when the going gets tough? Our jobs won’t save us, our 401K’s won’t save us, the government won’t save us, even our devilishly good looks and sparkling personalities won’t save us!! Our help comes in the name of the Lord, Who made the heavens and the earth. Our help comes in the name of Lord, Who shows us the path of life. Our help comes in the name of the Lord, in Whose presence fullness of joy, in Whose right hand are pleasures forevermore. What an AMAZING promise that is! Our help, our HOPE, come from God. While the world around us is often like trying to grab hold of vapor, God is steadfast and constant. How’s your week going? Feeling a little hopeless? Do 2 things for me: 1) think about Chester getter the better of a pastor with a Master’s Degree and get a good laugh at my expense about my inability to outsmart a woodland creature AND 2) take time to think through and pray about the fact that God is the one Who can and will sustain you in times of trouble! Have a great day, share this with your friends, and stick with Jesus!