Message from the President
Greetings friend, and welcome to the January Comfort Connection!
Happy New Year to you all! This newsletter is coming out a little later than usual, and so this is an extra special wish for you that this year would bring blessings and not curses, and that God would hold you in the palm of his hand. These are such turbulent times. Elderly people cannot be visited by their own family. People are dying without family around them. Funerals are performed, but you cannot even receive the support of people coming around you. Businesses are failing. Fear is gripping so many.
Is there such a thing as finding peace these days?
I am reminded of the story of the king who was searching for an artist’s rendition of a picture of peace. He announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally, the great day of revelation arrived. A great crowd gathered to watch as the judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another. The viewers clapped and cheered.
Tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled.
As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd... a mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner!
Finally, the last painting was unveiled, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?
A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. In addition, black clouds exploded with lightning from a storm that was lashing out in all its fury. But in the lower centre of the painting, there was a little bird that had found refuge in the cleft of the rock. Safe and secure in the midst of the turmoil of its surroundings, it rested content and undisturbed.
As they gazed at the scene, one by one all the judges and viewers agreed that this painting was the perfect picture of peace.
This pandemic is leaving its mark on every person in this world. But the lockdowns provide space to have rich family times, but also quiet reflective times. Ever since I was a young child, this passage of scripture provided peace to me in the middle of the storm,
The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters,
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Amen. Psalm 23.
I hope you are able to find peace today in the middle of the storm. This is a little more ‘churchy’ than usual, but I can only share my own source of hope. We could all use some hope today.