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Be anxious for nothing

Dear Congregation of Calvin, ​ As the elders take turns sending words of encouragement during this time of social isolation, I have three short thoughts that I would like to share.  ​ First, I know there can be some anxiety at every sniffle or headache. We have now a unique opportunity now (as a test of faith) to put into practice Paul’s exhortation to us in Phil 4:6-7 ​ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus ​ Second, I know that we have all had our plans interrupted. Schools are closed. Some of our students had performances canceled which they were really looking forward to. Business opportunities have evaporated. Some jobs are tenuous, or furloughed, or even lost. Retirement savings have been lost. So now we have the opportunity to especially exercise our faith in regards to owning the truth of James’s exhortation in James 4:13-15 ​ Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” – yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that”. ​ My third thought is to remind everyone to fight against the well-known temptation of irritability when we are cooped up with the same people for an extended time. It’s the one thing my Chinese friends have been warning me about from their recent experience. And don’t just focus on your own fight against this temptation, but also realize that the people you are with are subject to the same temptation. So, we all need to be especially vigilant in our charity. ​ I hope everyone is doing well. Please do reach out for help from our brothers and sisters in our church family regarding any need.   ​ Blessings, ​ —Elder Jim Blake

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