By God’s Side: December 9, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

December 9, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesIn recent weeks, several of you have told me that, at some point or another since mid-March, you experienced a meltdown. I can relate. The pressures of coping as best we can, during a year which mustered forces to prevent that, have certainly yielded a range of feelings that we normally keep in check. So if you have had a meltdown moment, remember that you are not alone — that what you are feeling is understandable and appropriate. And it comes of a long time waiting, with no end in sight.

I am reminded of the children of Israel who had their own, literal, meltdown moment when they were out there wandering in the wilderness. Moses, their leader, had gone up the mountain and was a long time returning. Fear and worry and all sorts of gloomy thoughts got the better of them. What did they do? They gathered up every precious golden treasure they had and melted it down to form an idol they could worship.

You cannot be too harsh with them, even though you know it was wrong. They were at the end of their tether. The waiting was driving them crazy. And the meltdown happened.

The big difference between then and now is that we know for whom we are waiting. We know that He is on His way. We know when He will arrive. We know that it is just fifteen days more, till we joyously celebrate His birth.

So if you are having a meltdown moment, forget about idols, no matter how glittery and tempting they may appear. Remember that Christ brings salvation. Allow His coming to set you free of the worry that comes of uncertainty. His love is greater than your fears; His goodness is far grander than anything else you can name.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes By God’s Side, a weekly series of inspirational reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles, to support you in your spiritual journey. These pastoral messages appear in the blog section of the church website each week. (Our weekly e-newsletter includes an excerpt to remind you to read along with us regularly; click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter if you do not already receive it.) We hope this regular feature will help you to draw closer to God’s side in your life of faith.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.