I’ve decided I’m not going to make a New Years resolution this year. Usually I would think of something that would help me in my faith – the obvious resolution being “read my Bible every day”. What’s the point though? I never get past day 4 or 5! It should be “read my Bible at least once a week”. I might just manage that!
Anyway, I’m not going to make a resolution only to be miffed that I break it in just under a week, and then wait another year before I make the same resolution again. I know that I probably could just start again the same day I think about it, but as a perfectionist this wouldn’t feel right. I can only start it on 1st of January! (I know, it’s a little ridiculous, but hands up if you feel the same?)
Last year I thought about choosing a word that would help me to live through the year – something to reflect on which would keep me centred, and also help my faith at the same time. I chose the word ‘Love’. I didn’t look for any signs from God to see if this was the right word for me, nor did I pray about it. I just chose something that I thought would be right with what I was going through in that moment. (You see, I didn’t really love myself very much, so I thought if I chose the word ‘Love’ something might happen).
Over the first few weeks though, another word kept popping into my head and I kept hearing the same Bible reading through various people…
The Lord God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; In His love He will no longer rebuke you but rejoice over you with singing.
My word then changed from ‘love’ to ‘accept’ and throughout the year I had constant reminders of how God accepts me for who I am despite what I have been through.
I have thought a little bit more intently on my chosen word for this year. I’ve even prayed about it! It’s been a word that has been constant throughout the advent period and one that has stayed with me into the New Year. ..
This word is going to keep me anchored in the truth that God is in the midst of everything that I encounter. I need to remember…
…He is in the centre of it all…
…He is in the deepest depths of my despair…
…He is at the heart of every hurt…
…When I am in the thick of it, He will be right there.
As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!
I will not be afraid knowing that God is in the midst of everything I do. Guess what? You don’t need to be afraid either!
Is there a word that resonates with you that could give you a focus or help you centre your life?
Lord, as I go through my days, help me to remember that you are in the midst of everything that I do. You are especially in everything that happens around me – every situation that I encounter. I thank you and I praise you for this truth. May I never forget this. Amen
It was such a shock that Theresa May delivered her speech so badly the other day – and the media are absolutely loving every minute of it. It was just an unfortunate turn of events that took place, but one that is going to stick with her for the rest of her life.
A comedian thought that it would be a good prank to hand her a P45 declaring she is not fit for the role of Prime Minister. She then unfortunately had really bad coughing fits causing her to lose her voice slightly. She paused at various moments to sip water and was even handed a cough sweet.
You can already envisage that this is going to be one of those top 50 embarrassing moments of the century on a TV blooper type programme. Worse was yet to come though when letters started to fall off the conservative slogan behind her.
She really did have one of those “bad day at the office” type of days! Don’t we all get days like that though? Ok, so we may not be giving a life changing speech, but we do need to live a life that could be life changing for other people. People look to each other to see how they react to situations around them. A situation handled well is one that will be remembered well, but a situation handled in a bad way will never be forgotten.
As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one.
So Theresa May is not perfect. Who is? Are you? Can you honestly say that you live and talk in such a way that people could say you live your life perfectly? We are only human at the end of the day – and so is Theresa May – believe it or not!
There is someone though that we can rely on to be perfect in everything that is done.
The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.
We can always rely on God because He is a strong figure – He is the Rock.
Everything that God has done has been done well. We can rely on Him because of this – His work is perfect.
We can trust in God for His wisdom to do what is right – For His ways are just.
We can count on God to fulfil His promises because He is a God of faithfulness.
So, who do we look to for someone to rely on? Who can we look to who can truly show us the right way to live? Who Is it that we can we focus on? Someone who will not cough and splutter when challenged with whether He can uphold his promises for our future?
We can chose to focus on the One who is perfect. We can chose to focus on God.
To depend on someone means to rely on them. I’m quite an independent person, so to rely on someone else for help very rarely happens. The only exception for me is my husband of course – I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.
Since I have been back from holiday, which was only 4 weeks ago (but seems like it has been half a year), I have hit the ground running with the busyness of life and what it throws at me. I have been relying totally on myself, and my husband, to get me through to the next day.
Anything that life has been throwing at me, I have been placing into a box and shelving it to one side hoping to deal with it later. Honestly though? Maybe I was hoping those things I was shelving would deal with itself and get lost in the process! Don’t tell me that you’ve never felt like you wanted to hide away from life, or to brush things under the rug hoping no-one finds it to dig it back up again.
We can’t keep sweeping things under the rug, or putting situations into a box and shelving it. You know what happens when you just keep piling things up? Eventually, one day it will over flow and topple over and make a complete mess…And it takes longer to clean up!
This happened to me last week. I was so busy with life that I didn’t take as much time out as I needed to depend on the One who can really sort my messes out. I couldn’t even go to church one Sunday because I was too busy doing something else.
I rely on going to church to set me up for the week. I depend on it. I know I shouldn’t. It’s not church that I worship – it’s God. I should be able to worship God anywhere. I have no excuse though when I am at church and I guess I saw this as my “fix” for the week. God isn’t a one day of the week kind of God – He’s in it for the long haul.
Every. Single. Day.
I should be able to run to Him to depend on Him whenever I want to (and need to).
Last week, events finally caught up with me and I reacted in ways that I shouldn’t have done. Instead of depending on God first, I shelved it and tried to ignore what was happening. Until…BANG…it was too late and it all came crashing down around me. Or rather, I just flipped out and made everything crash down.
I lost it.
Not completely though. I shut myself in the office and put on worship music and sang as loud as I could. I didn’t care in that moment if anyone was listening. I came to my Father because I knew I needed Him.
I rely on Him.
I depend on Him.
There was one song in particular that really helped, which is Waves by Worship Central. (See clip below). Just letting the waves of God’s love wash over me was all I needed. Maybe it’s all you need too?
Something to think about…
Are you feeling really overwhelmed at the moment and struggling to make sense of what is happening? Don’t leave it too late for life to come crashing down. Take some time out to breath and depend on God for a little while. If it helps, play the clip below, close your eyes and just let the waves of God’s love wash over you. If necessary, find a friend you know that you can confide in and just talk.
Lord, once again I have lost my way and I have forgotten that you are there for me to depend on. Once again, I have tried to get through life by my own strength and abilities. I thought I knew what was best, but once again I was wrong. You are the One that can do anything, and I need to remember to trust in your abilities to get me though what I am facing. Amen.
I originally wrote this post as a response to the Five Minute Friday word prompt “depend”. Click here to see what other people wrote when they were prompted with this word.
I was prompted a couple of weeks ago to think back to a time when my kids were out in the back garden. They were playing various games of hide and seek and tag and were climbing in the trees. I get a little concerned when I see my kids climbing trees as I worry whether they may get stuck…or worse, even fall from the tree.
I remembered back to when I was a child and I use to do far worse than climb trees. I use to play on the side of railway tracks and build swings from old worn out pieces of rope. I would swing as high as possible from the overhanging trees on the side of the bank. I didn’t know the dangers then when I was a child – I just remember the thrills I use to have. At least when my children are playing in the back garden now, I know where they are and what they are doing.
It wasn’t too long though before I could hear the cries of help from the back of our garden. Sure enough, when I got there, my eldest child was stuck at the top of the tree and could not get back down. So here is my cue as “Super Mummy” to come and rescue my child. I had to climb into the tree myself so that I could coax her down safely and gently.
At the last branch I told her to jump into my arms so I could catch her and not let her fall. She cried out to me “I can’t mummy. I’m too scared!” I gently assured her though that she was going to be alright. I was basically asking my daughter to let go of the branch she was clinging onto and to trust me.
She was scared of the unknown. What would happen if she were to let go? Would I catch her, or let her fall? Of course, she eventually realised that for the only way for her to reach the ground safely was to completely trust me. She needed to have faith in me that I would protect her and keep her safe. She eventually did let go of that branch. And yes, I caught her! “Mummy,” she cried. “You saved me!”
Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.Psalm 37:4
When I think about some of the obstacles that I have to climb in life, keeping the faith through these times is hard. It is like trying to tell a child to let go of a branch on a tree and you standing there waiting to catch them. At times, it would seem like there are lots of branches in the way and we are unable to see a clear path that would lead us into safety. The unknown of whether we would be able to get over the obstacle and reach solid ground then causes us to stumble and sometimes we feel like we are falling.
Keep strong. Have faith. God will help us.
We are reminded though that God is there for us and is ready to take hold of our hand:
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
I know it’s not easy, especially when we don’t know what is going to happen. It’s the unknown of whether or not I will be safe that causes me to stumble in my faith. I get scared. Maybe you do too? Many times I have stumbled as well because I wanted to try and find my own way.
Guess what though? When we are in the thick of it, God has a better view from where He is than what we do from where we are. We cannot see what He sees. We don’t need to be scared as God can see clearly what step we need to take to lead us to safety.
Are you in a situation where you feel you are stuck and you cannot see where you are? Remember, when you feel like you are stuck on the top of a branch, you just need to call on His name and He will come running to you. God will be there beneath you gently guiding your every step. When you feel like you are falling in these times, He will catch you. You just need to keep the faith and completely put your trust in His hands.
Why not try letting go and leaving it in His hands today? Instead of clinging on the the branch, cling on to the arms of God. He will be your branch.
Lord, I often find myself in places where I feel I am clinging on to a branch. I am stuck and I am scared. I cannot see which way to go. Please hear my cries as I shout to you to help me. Hold me in these times and give me the strength I need to lean on you. Guide me gently and safely as I learn to trust in you wholeheartedly. You have this in Your hands. Amen.