Larry Myhrer [VP of Operations]
Last year was challenging. People were forced, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, to change many aspects of their daily lives. Students of all ages had to adapt and learn online. Many workers were laid off and others had to work remotely. Vacations were put on hold. Graduations and wedding plans were made and remade to accommodate the current restrictions. Some had to quarantine at a moment’s notice. I often wondered, and still do, if things will get back to “normal.” It was a year of so many questions and concerns. If 2020 had a defining word it would be uncertainty.
In addition to this uncertainty, 2020 also brought with it a big loss for my family. In August, my father suddenly passed away. He was a great example to me throughout my life and a shining example of Jesus’ love throughout his community. As I was growing up, I remember many times sharing with him some trouble or concern in my life and how I was feeling stressed and worried.
After listening to me, he would always ask “Have you prayed about it?” Feeling guilty and not really knowing what to say, my default answer was always “Not yet.” Without missing a beat, my dad would start praying with me for whatever concern I had shared with him.
My dad knew that we all have worries in our lives, but he also knew that through prayer we can share our concerns with our Heavenly Father, who will listen and provide peace through uncertain times. Hebrews 4:16 reminds us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” May our confidence in God’s love and mercy for us guide us through these uncertain times.
Pastor Adam Osier [FLBC dean]
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would end, I would plant my apple tree today,” states a popular quote attributed to Martin Luther. While Luther probably never actually said this, the point is clear and appropriate for our times. Tomorrow is a mystery.
No epoch in recent history illustrates this as well as the one we’re currently in. But what does this mean for how we serve in our callings now? We plant our trees. We cannot, for fear of tomorrow, neglect the callings God has for us. He has given us a mission, and we walk faithfully in that mission.
This has been a difficult lesson for me as I have transitioned into a new role over these past 18 months. Learning leadership in a new setting is challenging enough without the cacophony of fearmongers casting doubts on every tomorrow. Yet, as is true of most truly edifying seasons of life in Christ, difficulties and uncertainties function more like polishing grit than boulders blocking the road down which we’re called. This forces us to remember our calling and mission. We want to train students to serve congregations. For this, they need to be grounded in the Word of God. They need to know His truth to stand in the truth. They need to know the King to serve in His kingdom. We can do that because God’s Word doesn’t change.
When we remember the mission, decisions are much easier and God’s plan advances even as the wrenches of doubt and uncertainty are cast into the gears of our service. We are called by a God who knows well each tomorrow that will come, and because of that, we can be confident and at peace in the mission ahead.