01/01/14 From the Ministers dusty study – well it’s not been used for a while
At the start of a New Year we may well wonder what lies round the corner, life can produce a few surprises as I been reminded in the last few months. I prefer to start by thinking of those things which are certain. The seas will ebb and flow, the sun will rise and set, the moon will follow its course, it will rain and shine in varying measure and the love of God is constant. Thus having reminded myself that something’s really do not change I can look a little more dispassionately at the problems that might be marching into view.
Now you may be impressed by the above statement which shows the sort of spiritual maturity you would hope for in clergy. Sadly I have to tell you there are those times when the above relaxation method is drowned out by very mundane irritants that hamper everyone’s life - including mine. Appointment times, deadlines, worries and fears, they all gain importance if not corrected. We often find ourselves too distracted to correct these barriers to serenity. This should not however give us a licence to panic. One other little thing to bear in mind is that Christians are not immune to a bit of chaos. We are promised that things will be grand after we die (terms and conditions apply). We are not promised an easy ride before that moment.
The bible discourages fears and worries on numerous occasions but that may not actually help us to achieve freedom from our hang-ups. Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 but by chapter 19 he was running scared of the threat of death from Jezebel. Confidence seems to have deserted him.
So, even great people of faith have their off days. If you look at the dialogue between Elijah and the ‘heavenly intervention’ you may note that the ‘heavenly intervention’ is having none of it. God strengthened Elijah and directed Elijah; there was not a blinding flash and an end to the problems. The prophet still had to face the music. Those who imagine Christianity wipes out stresses, strains and calamities will soon be seeking a refund I am sure. Elijah though did find heart in God’s presence, in conversation and in trusting God even in the difficult times.
Hopefully your experiences for the year ahead will know many blessings. You should seek times of being uplifted but for the days that are not ‘fun – filled’ in any year, try thinking of Elijah. Think of the certainties at the top of this page and remember that all things come to pass – eventually!!
Happy New Year