In God We Trust submitted by Jeanne Westcott

I am in Naples, Florida for the month. While here, I like to visit other churches to see what kinds of programs they have and how they fare. The North Naples Church is a favorite place to go. Today the message was given by Pastor Kent Millard and I would like to share his message with you.

He began by pointing out that soon we will have a new President, but that regardless of who had won the election, a large part of the country would be disappointed and unhappy, consumed with fear about the future of our country. He pointed out that divisiveness can be found in many places, his own Methodist Church being his example. Many are proposing that we need to be less divisive, to ‘come together’. These people propose that we need to talk to each other to understand the position of the other. The real solution, he points out is that we need to focus on the larger goal, that of living as God would have us live.

Pastor Millard told us about a book his wife received for Christmas. Not a best-seller, but a small book about prayer. The theme of the book is that we all should pray one prayer multiple times daily. That prayer is simple… “Almighty God, heal my fearful thoughts”. We can add whatever we wish at the end of the prayer, fearful thoughts about our health, our family, our work, our country, our health.

The scripture he used was Matthew 14:26-31 the story of Jesus walking on water. As Jesus approaches the boat, Peter wanted to walk to Him and started out. As long as Peter’s focus was on the face of Jesus, he was secure on the surface, but when his concentration broke and he looked around him, he became afraid and began to sink. Peter calls out to Jesus to save him; Jesus reaches out to hold him and asked Peter why he doubted. Peter had lost his focus and became fearful.

This is where the prayer comes in – we need to heal our fearful thoughts and focus on Jesus. We need to trust in Him that all will work out as it is meant to be. We need to be reminded daily – maybe many times a day – that we need to trust in God that all will work out as it is meant to be.

Today we are concerned about many things, things in our own personal lives, the lives of our family and friends and then the problems brought to us in a 24/7 news cycle. We worry about what is to become of us, will we find a new priest, will our churches survive in our communities, how can we increase attendance, our pledges, where will the next workers come from?

We evidently need to take the experience of Peter into our own lives, to become focused on the larger goal, to trust that all will work out as God intends. That we need to have faith and not be afraid.

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