We are learning much about ourselves through these challenging times, and it is becoming clear that we must learn both patience and the readiness to adapt, both for ourselves during the crisis, and for the world when it has receded. It is easy to begin to feel frustrated and react against the same, often-repeated messages from Government and even from church. Nevertheless I urge you to continue to pray for one another and to spend time with God. I believe that it is only when all this is past will we realise just how powerful prayer, love, and the presence of God among us is, and what He has achieved during our enforced ‘wilderness’ experience.
‘…we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us.’ [Romans 5:3-5, NIV]
As many benefits as we feel we derive from our services and fellowship, the real point of faith in, and service for, Jesus Christ is our lives outside the church walls. Whatever the situation in which we find ourselves, however ‘cut off’ we may feel from the things we would normally do, there remains for people of faith the incontestable reality that we live continuously in God’s presence and purpose; and if this is so, then all of our contacts and conversations, all of our routine activities, can be dedicated to Him. No moment is wasted; no action too insignificant, no exchange with someone else too brief that it cannot be invested with the awareness of God.
Throughout the Bible we are continually reminded that the whole of life is the arena for our faith to be seen in action. The Sabbath is intended for rest and, for us, worship; but every day we have belongs to God and when we are fully aware of that fact, every day becomes filled with opportunities to affirm and reflect the reality of God in our words and actions. Lockdowns may restrict us in some ways, but they cannot empty a day of divine significance!
The following is a prayer I discovered recently in my time with the Lord. I hope that its sense of God’s all-sufficiency will speak to you and encourage you now to be His person every moment of every day, and in all circumstances. May God continue to bless and keep you in His loving care.
O Thou who has ordered this wondrous world,
and who knows all things in earth and heaven:
So fill our hearts with trust in thee that,
by night and day, at all times and in all seasons,
we may without fear commit all that we have and hope to be
to thy never-failing love, for this life
and the life to come;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
To contact our Minister, Revd Andy Burrows – please click the ‘Contact Us’ link.