Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

The last couple of days have been interesting for me in a way that I didn’t expect, and I share my experience in the hope that it may help others express how they are feeling. On the whole, I am a person that copes well under difficult circumstances. In a sense that’s part of my vocation, not just to be present for people in the happier moments of their life, but to also be present in the moments of anxiety and struggle, those moments when life is hard.

Prayer

A friend of mine posted this poem yesterday on Facebook and it rang true for me. I can take no credit for either composing such good words, nor of finding them… so for the thought for today I shall just share this with you. It is from 'Spoken Worship' by Gerard Kelly published by Zondervan in 2007 (https://www.bookdepository.com/Spoken-Worship-Gerard-Kelly/9780310275503)

 It is called 'When the Walls' and my friend commented that ‘it seemed appropriate to our times’… and I do believe he is right.

Silence

That phrase ‘silence is golden’ came to my mind last night as I listened to the sound of birdsong in the evening light, as the sun was completing its long descent to awaken the southern hemisphere.  Normally, living so close to the High Road in Chadwell Heath I am gifted the noise of traffic moving to and fro… even in that late part of the evening it can be quite loud, with the sound of bird song lost to car horns, sirens and the general hubbub of people moving from one place to the next.  But not last night, and not for a while.  I have to confess; I enjoyed the quiet.

God loves everyoneMy God loves everyone…. today I did not want to be reminded of this truth….

John 3:1:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Gratitude

Psalm 100:1-5 - A Psalm for giving thanks.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

With the latest scientific advice being that the social distancing measures we have to live with may continue for a longer period than we would like it is easy to start slipping into places in our thinking that may not be great for us. We may feel our emotional wellbeing dampen, we may experience less helpful emotions like frustration, anger, bleakness. I get this, these are not easy days to live through, they are hard in a hundred different little ways… saying anything else just isn’t seeing the reality around us.

Hope

Isaiah 40:3:
But those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I was reminded this morning that hope is one thing that can be so hard to find, but so restoring of a person's life when given. I can’t explain the specifics, but I can say that hearing the change in someone’s voice when the power of hope is experienced is truly a wonderful moment.

praise in the storm

Today’s thought for the day is simply a reminder for us all to praise God no matter where we are… not because of the situation we are facing – for that is a hard place… but simply because of what God HAS done, what he HAS promised and WHO he is.