Trust in God’s plans to get through tough times

Published 3:01 pm Saturday, October 24, 2009

The old saying goes something like this: “Nothing is sure, except death and taxes.” Having lived in Franklin for five short years that saying seemed to exclude one item — the paper mill.

Many of us thought that the mill was on the way out — and the timeline seemed to be in the next five to 10 years. Surely we would have time to make plans, to adjust, to attract new industry, to do all that was necessary when a major employer seemed to be on its last leg. That impression was shattered with yesterday’s news.

I was making hospital rounds when I was informed of the mill closing. Immediately, my mind thought of the men and women who have worked at the mill for 15, 20, 25, 30 years or more. I thought of those who would have to start over and find a new job. I thought of those whose children are in college and how they would pay for their education. But the impression that came to my mind over and over again were people, many of whom I do not know. People whose dreams and goals have been shattered are the very ones who are close to God’s heart.

It is in this context that the citizens of Franklin and the surrounding area find themselves today. Life as we have known it will probably not be the same. Many are struggling to figure out what to do next. It is perfectly natural to be upset and to “grieve.” We all have lost something that was precious to us, but we need to look beyond the immediate.

The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that everything has a season — “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I have found that the strength of the greater Franklin community is found in its people. The community spirit is a “stick-to-it-ness” that an outsider will not comprehend. Through disaster and heartbreak the people join together and aid one another.

To be sure, there are many obstacles to overcome, but my faith is in God and in the people of our community. I have faith that we will come together once again to assist each other. This is the time for all of us to do all that we can for each other.

As we go forward, none of us knows what the future holds, but we trust in God. We trust in God who has plans for us. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

The community is invited to gather in a service of worship Thursday Oct. 29 at Barrett’s Landing. The service will begin at 7 p.m. (In case of rain, the service will be moved to Franklin Baptist Church). Please bring a chair to sit in on an open heart, expecting God to meet you there.