Pastor Jeff’s Corner for October 2022: “An Ache in Our Heart”

Yesterday, we watched intently as Hurricane Ian made its way into the weather history books. Let the record reflect it was not a good historical event but rather a landscape changing event as the storm surge and wind battered everything in sight.

Thousands lost their homes, hundreds lost jobs, many lost businesses and we don’t know yet how many people lost their lives. As I reflect about this tragic event there is a paradigm that stands out for me. My wife and I love Captiva and enjoy watching the sunsets God provides there. Many of us visit professional services, restaurants and the beach in Fort Myers and may even have friends or relatives that live there. We probably have some great memories of our time in southwest Florida.

Hurricane Ian stepped in and provided an unwanted catalyst of change to our dear friends in south-west Florida. From happy memories to somber grief due to loss will cause an ache in our heart and may cause us to doubt how things could ever be restored. But as we’ve seen time and time again, people rose to the challenge and first responders came to help despite possible peril to them. And we, as Americans, are fighters. We cheer for the underdogs and stand up against bullies! We may not know yet how we will navigate these rough waters, but our resiliency has been tested before and we will overcome. As Christians, we understand that overcoming tough situations often involves our call to love our neighbor.
God loves us so much that He sent His only Son (John 3:16) to be beaten and die on a cross for us. But the story did not end there! Jesus rose from the grave and defeated sin and death and that same amazing love is available for all who say “yes” to a relationship with Jesus. Amazing love can rebuild lives and lead to personal restoration. Just as we can choose to be a part of the recovery solution for southwest Florida, we can choose Christ to be the answer to our personal restoration project. The ache in our heart can turn into hope and we sure need that don’t we.

God bless you and keep you and I invite you to get involved for Christ and to share your love with those who need it most far and near.

Pastor Jeff

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