God is good…

Dear CTK,

God is good. His faithfulness endures forever. 

The psalms repeat these phrases over and over and we have access to experience these timeless truths in our own lives and the life of our church. Sometimes, however, we fail to see his goodness and faithfulness through our own pain and unmet expectations. 

I recently did some math and realized that at the height of our recent lockdown I was attempting to cover an additional 60 hours a week of work at the church on top of my full-time job as pastor. In January, we lost our Executive Pastor and were forced to cut administrative staff hours during the lockdown–along with the crushing weight of decisions to be made about our building and finances. Then, of course, we had the work involved in actually moving out of the building (somehow my family also moved houses at the same time). 

It’s no wonder I found myself stumbling into August in a state of complete exhaustion on every level–physically, mentally, creatively and spiritually. It’s also no wonder that I had become largely blind to God’s faithfulness and goodness during this season. Don’t get me wrong, I was trusting that God was going to leverage this crisis for his ultimate good–I didn’t really feel like there was another option. All the same, I experienced a level of anxiety and depletion I’ve never felt in my life. If you had asked me, I would have said God is faithful and good–but it would have been a statement of what I believe to be true, not what I was feeling in the moment. 

As soon as we began our worship at the high school something shifted that has realigned my belief in God’s goodness with my experience of it. The pace of life and work slowed just enough that I was able to look past the ongoing crises for a moment. What I saw and am now seeing has breathed new life into me at a soul level.

First off, being able to meet in person has been life-giving. There is a part of me that actually enjoyed teaching online on Sundays and caving up in the office by myself–for a time. I did not realize, however, how much I was missing seeing you all face to face. Even with restrictions and precautions, it has been wonderful to gather again. Along with gathering, our worship at the high school has been refreshing, not only due to the feel of the new space, but because of the addition of Lydia Heiner to our staff leading us in a beautiful new experience and quality of worship. 

We were also able to hire Mary Jones as our Administrator. All of the admin work I was desperately (and poorly) trying to cover during the lockdown has been handed over to a person who is not only able but gifted in organizing, troubleshooting and guiding us in the crucial logistics of following God’s mission for CTK. We’ve finally been able to meet together as a staff again along with Debbie Olsen (Outreach) and Jennifer Richardson (Womens Ministry)–in our really cool new office space.

As a church community, we have managed to strike a balance between gathering at the school and upping our streaming game for those of us who cannot attend in person. We are living within our means fiscally and have begun making plans for how we will invest resources beyond paying bills to actual Kingdom work in our community and the world. This is without a doubt an exciting time to be part of Christ the King in Nampa!

After some months of hectic pace and heavy uncertainty, I have finally had a chance to be reminded that God is good and his faithfulness never fails–even when I can’t see it in the moment. I hope you are getting the opportunity to come up for air and see what God has been up to and where he is leading you, personally and as part of our church family. I also want to encourage you to renew your trust in him–even if you’re not in a place to see God’s goodness and redemption right now. Sometimes we are overwhelmed and are not able to feel God’s presence even though we believe he is there. That is not due to a lack of faith or a betrayal to God. He is patient and he is full of grace–and he is looking forward to the time when you will, once again, have your eyes opened to see just how good and faithful he has been to you and us all along.

God is good. His faithfulness endures forever. We, your church family, are here to hold you up in the midst of the chaos and pain. We can encourage each other to push forward and keep eyes fixed on the hope we share in Jesus. 

May we have eyes to see and ears to hear God’s grace, goodness and faithfulness. May we allow the Father’s love to eclipse our fears and confusion.

Chip

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