I’m not sure if you have been into any of the big supermarkets lately, but I went into the local Sainsbury’s and the level of empty shelves was a bit of a shock… even after there have been reminders to think about the less fortunate and well off.  As I queued to pay for the few items I had gone in for I saw a man walk out with 6 large boxes of cereal, and I must confess that I became a little cross. 

 

Yet, even as the feeling of frustration arose I was reminded by God that we don’t know another’s journey until we have walked a little way in their shoes… a subtle reminder that we shouldn’t judge unless we want to be held accountable for all that God has pardoned us for.  I was also reminded that there is a good amount of fear and uncertainty in peoples lives.  All the familiar patterns have become restricted, even if it’s not forever, we feel the loss.  Loss of freedom, loss of choice, loss of comfort.

In this place where school-goers won't get to sit exams, we can't get on tap what we are used to accessing without a second thought (food, friends, locations, study, work) it is a stark reminder of how lucky we are that we miss these things at all.  It is a timely reminder that this is the way of life for some people even before COVID-19 entered our collective consciousness… some had no friends before all this started, some had no access to the food they would want, some had no access to jobs they would like to do, some had no access to the full opportunities education affords… so to miss these things is to be reminded how blessed we are in the first place…

And as I packed my shopping these words came to mind from Psalm 23, especially the first line

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-- they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.

So, let’s remember, it is in God we have all hope, in Jesus we have all salvation and in the Holy Spirit we have guidance.  Do not worry but rest with the Lord in all we do.

Blessings to you all, stay safe, be safe

James