Stories of These Times · April 28, 2020

Not to Worry

Here's an idea for enduring the isolation: Let God's fingers do the walking.

On March 20, we were barely a week into the extended period of self-isolation that has brought New York to a virtual standstill. That morning, the senior pastor sent a video message to the congregation, urging us all to be safe, and be strong.

Later that day, we received a response from one of our members, Amy Bodnar, thanking Scott for his words of encouragement. Amy gave us permission to share her email, and for reasons known only to the Holy Spirit, we have held on to it until now.

We are now into our second month of isolation. As Scott mentioned in Sunday’s sermon, many of us have entered “the grumpy phase.” As the days drag on, you may find it’s getting harder to keep the faith.

So maybe now is the perfect time to share Amy’s email.

“This may sound a little strange,” she wrote, “but every day I have been opening my Bible at random, allowing God to direct me to the passage I should read. Nothing is marked. It is my mother’s old Bible from her confirmation in 1953. It has been good every day, but today it randomly opened to Philippians 4. And as I read verses 1-7, particularly verses 6 and 7, I felt God with me. I thank you for continuing to keep the Lord with me today.”

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry 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. Philippians 4:1-7 (emphasis added)