𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐲 – 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐚 𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡
The view from our front room window has changed since the end of March. The trees, bushes and flowers have “donned” their summer clothes, and the crows’ nest, at the very top of the tree across the road, is now almost obliterated from view by foliage. We still see crows flying around and perching on the chimney pots, but the young have been born and “flown the nest”. People no longer seem to be going on daily walks, as they were then, and the traffic along the road is just as dense as it was before lockdown. On weekdays more children are attending the school opposite, with staggered entry and departure times.
Still, though, there hangs on the railings of the school, the banner painted by the children of keyworkers at the beginning of the lockdown – four beautifully coloured rainbows on a bright blue background reminding us now as then:
“Look after our families. Stay at home.”
As I listen to and talk with people on the phone, I realize how many of us have taken that message to heart. These months have seen people making real sacrifices – struggling with isolation and loneliness; parents working from home, trying to keep up with their children’s education sent to them online; those who’ve been furloughed, and now wondering whether their jobs are secure or whether redundancy is going to follow; keyworkers and “unsung heroes” putting their own lives at risk to care and display compassion; those grieving on their own for a loved one ……… and so the list goes on.
People have shared with me, though, some of the joys they’ve experienced these past weeks, perhaps doing jobs they’ve been “putting off” for ages; reading again books they’d enjoyed years ago; doing plenty of baking and experimenting with new recipes; and more recently, getting together in “bubbles” with families or friends, as social distancing is somewhat relaxed. One friend, in her late 80s, shared in an email that she was appreciating not having to rush through her daily Bible reading or prayer time!!
Many of us have been given the time to relax and put aside the frantic pace of life today, and modern technology – expertly and quickly learnt! – has meant that many people have been accessing church services online and enquiring about the Christian faith.
God is always there to share in our joys, and to comfort and encourage us in times of difficulty.
Psalm 62 is described as a Psalm of Encouragement, sung by God’s people when it would have been so easy for them to despair and seek security elsewhere, other than in God.
Verses 1-2: “𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐥 𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞; 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐇𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐲 𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐲 𝐬𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐦𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬; 𝐈 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐧.”
Verse 8: “𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬, 𝐎 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞; 𝐩𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐦; 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐠𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐮𝐬.”
We are not promised that all will be sunshine and joy in this life, and that we will never have to go through disappointments and sadness, illness and grief, but we are assured that God will be with us through them.
Forty years ago this year – in 1980 – I was in a different sort of “lockdown” in hospital for seven months when I was expecting our daughter, Kathryn, and the Bible verse which sustained me through those months and continues to sustain me now can be found in the book of Exodus 33:14. The Israelites were journeying through the wilderness to the Promised Land, and God reassured Moses with these words:
“𝐌𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭.”
As believers, we know that we are never isolated from the love and compassion and understanding of God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ – always there with us. The Holy Spirit upholds us day by day, giving us the assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us as we JOURNEY through our lives to our rest, our heavenly home already prepared for us.
John 14: 2-3 – at the Last Supper, as Jesus comforts His disciples, He promises:
“𝐈𝐧 𝐦𝐲 𝐅𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫’𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦𝐬. 𝐈𝐟 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐨, 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮? 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐠𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮, 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟, 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐦𝐚𝐲 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨.”