- Pastor Ralph
A Personal Reflection
This day's reflect is kind of a personal testimony for me. I probably will repeat some things that I have talked about – but that is ok. So here I go…
The news about the CFL and its financial state and future has hit me hard. This is not making light of all that has gone on, and is going on, in our country and world. I know this subject takes a backseat to the human suffering we see. Again, in the big picture, there are far more important issues at hand. But for me personally, it was kind of a wakeup call as to just how impactful this pandemic is. An institution that I grew up with – a league that I grew up dreaming about playing in and a part of my life and culture – is on the verge of going under. WOW – I just can’t get my head around it. The CFL is an historic Canadian institution. It is at the heart of who we are as Canadians and also Hamiltonians. My heart goes out to the many lives this pandemic has affected in the league. My prayer is that this can all be worked out and the league will have a good level of stability until it can function fully again.
But as I thought, I had to go back to (as much as I love football and the CFL) what really matters in my life. I have to look at the BIG PICTURE, what God has blessed me with, even though I do have a heavy heart.
The hope I have in Jesus Christ. The assurance that my sins are forgiven, that I have been given new life in Him and heaven awaits me some day. It is all about grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). I have done nothing to deserve what I have been blessed with. It is all because of Jesus. I literally “Stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene…”
The love and fellowship I have with my family and friends. In my nuclear and extended family and in my church family, I have been so blessed. I have been surrounded by people who love me, encourage me, forgive me and empower me to be me. I have been blessed beyond measure with family, church family and friends. I love you very much!
The call of Christ on my life. Jesus Christ gifted me, called me and equipped me to serve Him and others in Pastoral Ministry. It has not been an easy journey, at times, but God has been faithful and there is “joy” beyond measure as I witness lives touched and transformed by the Saviour. Again, thank you to my family and faithful flock without whom I could not operate. You are a gift of grace to me.
The security of the future. I am not saying the future will not be marked by changes, probably some major changes as this pandemic unfolds. I think one of the hardest things for everybody is the whole area of “unknowns.” We just don’t know. But I know one who does! As the chorus goes,
“Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.”
This doesn’t mean I do not get concerned and even anxious, at times. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. But I know that God has a plan, just like in Joseph’s life, and in the end He is the writer of history. By faith, I must trust Him.
As this pandemic shakes up our lives, we need to listen to one another and encourage one another as we journey through. Thanks for listening to me. I hope, in some small way, it has encouraged you. Well, onto the CFL draft tonight. God bless you and “go Cats go!”
In thanksgiving and love for all you do – Pastor Ralph