I was attending a funeral this weekend; celebrating a life well lived, a good man by anyone’s standards. Funerals, I feel, are often events that evoke introspection and reflection, this one was no different - leaving I felt challenged to finish this life well, despite obstacles, struggles and past failures.

Earlier the same day I was having a conversation with my daughter that went something like this.

“She has issues (pause),

I have issues (pause),

I guess we all have issues (pause).

I guess that’s life, Dad.”

She was spot on; having issues is part of life. I’m sure that the life we celebrated and were positively challenged by, had some issues, but they did not hold him back from living well, serving others, and striving to be better.

We all have “issues.” Life is often in disarray - sometimes to the point of being overpowering. In those times, we have the choice to let the messiness of life, with it’s demands, defeat us or we choose to work through those issues, to seek help, to get strength. It is those times when I call on God for strength and direction, when I stand on the promise in Isaiah 40 -

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I pray that as you face the “issues” and challenges of this life that you find strength greater than yourself in this new decade.

Onward -

Pastor Jim

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