God Wrote the Script

Before a lunch party where I didn’t know anyone very well, I prayed that I would have a chance to mention God and also that I would sit with a friendly group of people. Half way through the meal I said to God, thank you for the lovely meal and pleasant people but it doesn’t look as if I’m going to be able to mention You.

Then one chap mentioned that he went to the local pub three times a week to watch football. I found myself saying, ‘ That is like a church to you.’ When one lady said that no-one goes to church these days, God prompted me to say ‘I do, I’m a Christian ‘ From there on the conversation flowed. God was completely in control of the conversation, I only had to be willing and be obedient. I was able to say all the things one can only dream about having the opportunity to say.

God wrote the script; I only had to read it.

It is Well with my Soul

You know what it’s like. You sing a hymn or song on Sunday and then it plays in your head all through the week. That’s what happened with this hymn and I am playing the words again and again in my head. The author of the words had , Horatio Spafford, having heard of the drowning of his four daughters, was then able to pen these words. In spite of the terrible tragedy he was able to say – It is well with my soul. Many of us would find that hard.

It states quite clearly in the Bible that we will experience trouble in this world. As a young person I blocked out that thought. I was a Christian, I wasn’t going to have trouble. I was going to make a great success of my life. But as the years have rolled by, there have been troubles for me, though not to the extent that Spafford suffered. But the troubles are only one side of the story. In my troubles great and small, God has been by my side. He has never left me, although on many occasions I have shuffled away from Him. There have also been many blessings and joys. Indeed, it is well with my soul.

God Is Love

The small mission church was situated near my home as I was growing up. Being on the junction of two roads it was in a prominent position. Over the doorway in bold letters were the words ‘GOD IS LOVE.’ As a child I never gave much thought to what it meant. I would arrange to meet my friends. ‘We’ll meet outside God is love’ I would say. The bus conductors (yes, we had them in those days!) knew its name. ‘Anyone for God is love,’ they would yell.

Its only looking back that I realise, yes, God is love. In those far off days did anyone think about what it meant? The sign was there as a witness, but did anyone relish the words? God is definitely love but He is also a God of justice. We are so human that we can emphasize one facet and ignore the other. Because He is love, He can do justice. Because He is justice, He can do love. The two go hand in hand.

We deserve God’s justice; we don’t deserve His love, It can’t be earned; it is a gift. Our small part is to accept His love and sacrifice so we can escape His justice.

Persecution

The world is suffering because of the pandemic. There is also what the insurance companies class as ‘Acts of God’ such as volcanos, earthquakes, floods and wild fires. In addition there is further suffering caused by man himself; things such as civil wars, unrest, protests, stabbings and killings. All a sign of mankind’s sinful nature.

There has always been greed, selfishness and self-seeking. It is the nature of mankind’s fallen nature. It is only through Christ that we see healing. It is only through Him that the ills of this world may be addressed. We do pray that His will may reign.

Miracles

What a wonderful time of year. We’re half way through January and the tips of the snowdrops are peeping through the frozen earth. It’s a miracle!. The soil is very cold yet these delicate blades push their way up. The daffodils are also beginning to show. More miracles! Buds are beginning to show on my lilac bushes; I just hope its not too early and the frost will attack.

I’m not a person who usually chooses a word for the year but if I did it would be the word ‘Hope.’ Hope that we have more of the pandemic struggles behind us than in front of us. Hope that we can get back to the celebrations and gatherings that have languished. I’m a person that needs people. And hope for healing for those who have struggled financially, mentally and emotionally. Hope for those who have lost hope.

Sounds like a call for more miracles!

The Wonder of God

Sometimes God seems so great and mighty that I can hardly grasp the concept of such a holy God. My mind just seems to switch off. Then I read in Ephesians that I may grasp how wide and long and high and how deep is the love of God. I realise that by switching off my mind I’m losing out on joy and wonder.

I will never have full knowledge while I am here on this earth but the more I can grasp these wonders, the more I can enjoy fellowship with Him.

Contents Will Settle

I love the skin that forms on custard, but to get a skin you need to use proper custard powder, none of this instant stuff. I opened a new tin of the powder to make custard for my Christmas pudding. I noticed the tin wasn’t completely full and felt cheated. Then I did what I should have done in the first place and read the label on the tin. It read ‘contents will settle’. It hadn’t been possible to put in any more powder when it was sealed. OK, I hadn’t been cheated but I still felt a bit let down.

The next day when I read my Bible, I thought back to this incident. When God gives us a packet of His love, grace and kindness, He doesn’t ever short-change us. There is no ‘contents will settle’ with Him, just the opposite. His cup is full and over-flowing. Luke tells us that His love will be pressed down, shaken together and still flowing over. His love is so great that the whole world can’t contain it.

Still there

By now we are well into 2022. The turkey in all its various forms is finished, new year resolutions are stalling and in many cases it is a case of ‘deja vu.’ What is going to be different in 2022 and what is going to be the same.

God was with us throughout 2021 and without a doubt He will be with us this year. He will be with us to guide, comfort, correct and direct. There will be difficult, or even tragic things happening; God will be with us in the boat in the stormy seas, He will not be sleeping. There will be good things and reasons to rejoice. God will be with us then.

I have only one resolution this year – to stay close to God. It is not God who ever moves away, it is me and therefore I flounder. ‘One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.’ Psalm 27:4

Time

We are obsessed with time. Limited time to do what we want? We will never get through all our tasks. Time going slow when we are waiting for something good or bad to happen. How many sleeps do children have before the next exciting event? Our days are time obsessed. We check the time a hundred times a day; foolish really because it won’t go any faster or slower. Time has been controlled by God since ‘time again.’

Our new year, 2022, is marked by resolutions, some broken already. What will this year bring? How many shopping days until next Christmas? Perish the thought. We re told in Psalm 31 that our times are in God’s hands; thank goodness for that.

Can we imagine a time when time will be no more? There will be no time, just eternity. God was in past time, He is in present time and He will be in future time, whatever that will look like.

My Rock

This year, whenever I have wished someone a happy 2022 they reply ‘I hope it will be better than last year.’ They have a point. We have been restricted, bereaved and battered. Many of the things which have made life worthwhile have been snatched from us. We can no longer trust the news or what we are told. New hardships are faced daily. No wonder people hope that this new year will herald a better year.

While I have only suffered to a moderate degree, I still ask myself, what can I reply on? The answer is my God. He is my Rock. He doesn’t fluctuate from day to day. He doesn’t tell lies. He doesn’t let me down. He has been utterly reliable the whole of my life. Although I share this good news with my friends, they often don’t believe me. I do so wish they did.

My prayer for 2022 is that all my friends and acquaintances may believe in the power of God. If every Christian in the world wished this for their friends and acquaintances, 2022 would indeed be a better world.