The Lord gave me a thought as I was going to sleep last night, and I’d like to share it with you.

Like you, I’ve been feeling an unusual kind of stress this week.  But what’s behind it?

As I was reviewing my day, looking for God’s gracious and faithful hand at work, he gave me this thought:  You are feeling stressed because your routine has been turned upside-down.

The more I considered it, the more I believe it is true.  Like most people’s, my week has an ordinary rhythm.  And this week, that rhythm was not there.  Meetings I normally have, people I usually see, tasks I normally do…most of these things changed.  It felt – it feels – strange.

Compound that with the odd paranoia that we all have about touching things other people have touched, standing closer than two metres to another person outside of our household, and wondering if there’s going to be enough toilet paper to go around, and that makes for a stress-filled life.

(By the way, I think “paranoia” might be too strong a term; we need to be careful and diligent, to be sure, and even a previously excellent record of hand-washing should be vigorously increased, but I don’t think we need to be paranoid.  And yes, there will be enough toilet paper, and everything else, to go around.  Paper plants and farmers are still in operation.)

The good news amid all this is that God is in charge and he will keep us in perfect peace when our minds arefocused on him (Isaiah 26.3).  Remember that.

The photo shows our “studio” for the live-stream of worship.  Same time, same place, same station…but a different set-up.  You’ll be able to see the screen, because I’m going to put the slides on the television monitor.  We’ll sing a song, pray, hear a message wrapping up the book of Ruth, and sing another song.  The whole broadcast should be around 40-45 minutes.  As I noted yesterday, I will live-stream to both my Facebook feed and the church’s Facebook page, accessible here:

There’s hope for our present circumstance even from an old book like Ruth.  I hope you’ll tune in.  Feel free to share questions in the comments on Facebook or YouTube (if you watch it later).  I’ll gladly respond.

Don’t hesitate to be in touch if I can help.  And please check in on your neighbours, and folks from the congregation who are not connected to the internet.  Offer to pick up groceries for people who are quarantined or self-isolating.

And trust God.