March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

By Pastor Rick Fisk

It was my turn to lead our Zoom staff meeting yesterday, and as a personal check-in I asked each person if their word for the year, that they had selected back in January, looked different now that we are battling COVID-19, and the resulting economic crash?

My word for the year is trust. I selected the word trust because of the adjustments I have continued to grapple with since retiring. Specifically, can I trust God will provide for me and Barbara for the balance of our lives? I have to tell you that in the first several months of retirement the fact that I was now on a “fixed income” hit me like a ton of bricks. I had stepped out of being employed where, since I was 18 years old, I had always had the ability to work harder and work more, step up in jobs, and increase my income. Now that had ceased. That ability which it seems I had always had, was gone. Frankly it panicked me. My income was now fixed, but life’s problems were not.

It is at this point that I am conscious I could sound like an ingrate – and I certainly don’t want to give that impression. I feel that I have compiled a sound financial plan for retirement. Covenant Retirement Communities, for which I worked my last 20 years, was a great organization and provided me with the opportunity to build a more than adequate retirement. But then this isn’t really about rational thought is it? It is really about fear.

For the last eight years I watched my parents, who also thought they had more than enough to retire on, run into health issues in their later years. Their adequate retirement seemed to run through a sieve…and it isn’t just money that worries me but also health, mine and Barbara’s. For me, it is the threat of Alzheimer’s that I feel hangs over my head.

In reading over what I have just written it sounds dismal, but that is okay, I think we have a tendency to sugar-coat our fears and I want to be real with you. Truth is I have hope! My mom gave me this verse just before I stepped on my college campus as a freshman: “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

So, what about my ability to trust in the midst of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty? Allow me to share with you another section from Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Amid COVID-19, may God’s transcendent peace be yours.