Posted in Letter
There have been times in the last few months when I have felt close to the end of my tether.
Ready to throw a paddy with the Lord; a bit like our neighbour’s granddaughter who is in that toddler stage of her life.
Our morning reading today included a poem which starts -
I see Your hands,
Not white and manicured,
but scarred and scratched and competent,
reach out -
(From 'Many Voices, One Voice' by Eddie Askew, now with the Lord. Eddie Askew was at one time International General Secretary of The Leprosy Mission who have some of his books available but this one appears to be out of print.
Link to TLM Trading )
I was struck by the honesty of it. Jesus doesn’t always take our burden away, he helps us to carry it, makes it more bearable. We have not chosen to be in the situation that we are in. But we can answer in humility ‘if this is where I’m meant to be, I’ll stay. And try.’
What situation do you face today that you would rather not? The Lord is there to help each of us carry the burdens he gives us. And as we reflect on that, I am sure we can think of many who face much more difficult circumstances than we do right now. As the Lord brings them to your mind offer a prayer for them.
Our reading today also reflected on passages from Psalm 86. The whole Psalm is well worth reading and allowing the word of God to speak to you. There is so much richness in it as the Psalmist cries out to the Lord to hear him and rescue him. I have included an extract which shows how the Psalmist moves from supplication to worship and thanksgiving.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvellous deeds;
you alone are God.
Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name for ever.
For great is your love towards me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead. (Psalm 86: 5 - 13)
There is no condemnation for struggling and at times giving up. Our Lord knows our weaknesses and comes alongside when we invite him to share in carrying those difficult burdens and situations.
The important thing is to turn back to the Lord with a clear perspective. He alone is God and we are to offer our worship to him alone. And as our focus shifts from circumstances to the Lord so the situation we are in is put into a heavenly perspective, no matter how difficult it may be. The Lord has put us in a family, a Christian family, if the struggles you are bearing are too much for you then let a member of the fellowship know. We can pray together and support one another.
If you are able to join us at the Emmaus Christian Centre we are joining in a time of corporate prayer and worship, starting at 10.30 each Sunday morning. It is an opportunity to spend time in the Lord’s presence together. The Psalmist asks the Lord to give him a sign of his goodness; as we come together he gives us affirmation of his love and grace towards us as a fellowship.
In the words of our verse for the year last year:
You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: love each other. (John 15:16-17)
Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders