For this past week we have been settling into our new apartment and new city here in Louisville, Kentucky. It hasn’t been easy, especially right from the start when we didn’t have help to unload the truck. Nevertheless, we’ve pretty much done it. We’re moved in, albeit with unforeseen expenses—new apartments seem to always require new stuff of one sort or another.
Meanwhile, while in the middle of unpacking, I learned that my mother fell and broke her hip, went through surgery and is in a rehab facility, along, ironically, with my aunt Phyllis, married to my uncle Elwood, who died this past Saturday at his home.
Charles Elwood Bard was the last of a line. With the exception of his son, Jeff, there are no Bards to continue my grandpap’s lineage—and I don’t expect Jeff to marry and have children. While Jacob Melvin Bard’s lineage continues under the surnames of Griffie, Stouffer and Goshorn, there will, most likely, be no Bards.
When I talked to my step-father and mother on Sunday, I was left with a feeling of helplessness. I felt helpless because I am over 8 hours by car away from Newville, Pennsylvania, where all this is taking place. The move to Kentucky has brought me 4 hours closer, but it is still a long way to drive and I can’t be there on a whim. Helpless also because there is little I can do, other than pray. I’m not there to help out with tasks or to run errands or just hug on people.
And there’s a bit of confusion too. Confusion over why is God allowing all of this to happen at the same time? My Aunt Phyllis is in rehab for her broken arm and leg, and while there, her husband dies. My nearly 83 year-old mother, with weak lungs from a bad bout of pneumonia a few years ago, did not need a broken hip to further complicate life.
In the midst of this, I am reminded that God is still in control and He knows what He is doing and what is best. I have been thinking of these lyrics:
But what is real
Says God’s still on His throne
What I need
Is to remember one thing:
That the Lord of the gentle breeze
Is Lord of the rough and tumble
And He is the King of the jungle 1
And in the middle of a struggle
There’s a quiet place you can go
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and knowRight in your heart there is a temple
Come and bow before the throne
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know 2
And from the Psalms:
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” 3
The Lord God of the universe is in control. These things will turn out for good.
Back to Louisville
There have been set-backs here in Louisville. Chief among them was my irresponsibility in not getting my drug test done in Macon. Fortunately my new employer understood and I start work on the 16th. Yesterday, in my reading, I came across this verse in Genesis:
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good.'” 4
As I read those verses, I thought of His goodness to Jacob long ago and His goodness to us today. Amid the turmoil, there is still good. I sit here writing this from my man-cave, a room that a month ago I never would have thought possible. I also sit here amazed that we are in Louisville, Kentucky and that I’m going to seminary in three months. God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good.
1 from King of the Jungle, Steven Curtis Chapman
2 from Be Still and Know, Kim Hill
3 Psalm 46:10
4 Genesis 32:9