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The Worst of Times

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

I recently recorded a video message for donors, staff, volunteers, and friends of Buckner International and stared it off by quoting Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.”

At the end of January 2021, the Buckner International Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Susan Wilhoit, Board Chair, hosted our Annual Board Retreat. The Board engaged in generative discussion to consider key issues and the future of Buckner International. As part of our Retreat, we invited Dr. Len Sweet, best-selling author of more than 60 books, preacher, educator, futurist, and semiotician, to speak about the future of the Christian faith. Dr. Sweet did an outstanding job of putting our future in clear focus. His time with our Board was a mesmerizing, water-shed moment, and tipping point for me, perhaps for our ministry.

Of the many wisdom-flashpoints he deposited with us, one that stands out was this statement: “God does his best work in the worst of times and in the worst places.” He spoke of the chaotic and disruptive year we have had with COVID-19 and the uncertain future we face. And yet, he clearly showed us, maybe reminded us, that God does his best work in the worst of times and in the worst places. He spoke from his recent book, "Rings of Fire: Walking in Faith through a Volcanic Future" (NavPress, 2019), and puts the future of our faith in clear focus.

You may feel like you're going through the worst year or years of your life. You may feel like this is the worst year of our country’s history or the worst year on planet Earth with so much disruption, devastation, and loss of life. You may be right. And yet, God, the creator of the universe was not surprised or caught off guard. He allows things to happen and never wastes an opportunity to do his very best work. We are living in the perfect time for innovation, creativity, and imagination for how God might do some of the most incredible work in human history through us. Pray with me, pray for us, that together we might seize these moments of chaos and disruption to serve the most disadvantaged people in our communities and find ourselves in the middle of God’s best.

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