Trust in the Lord

If I judge correctly, no matter how much food and toilet paper you have stashed away at the moment, you are feeling bewildered and vulnerable. You know now what it means to lose control of the circumstances that surround your life and the lives of your loved ones. Perhaps it is beginning to dawn on you how little actual control you ever had over the things going on around you. Perhaps you have been a doer—an achiever—if not now, then in the past, and you are now beginning to learn what it is to be at the mercy of other people and circumstances beyond your control. Perhaps you will begin to realise how you have been taking God’s good gifts—your health, your freedom, the abundance of food and other supplies, and things like democracy and public order—for granted.
The thing is that God wants us to feel positive in all circumstances and the truth is that he does miraculously give us what we need. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we will all sit down to a joint of roast beef on Sunday. Or that much can be done about having toddlers underfoot while you are trying to work at home. But we can enjoy God’s perfect peace despite the difficulties. As Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
The book of Numbers is not usually a favourite, but Numbers 10 does illustrate how the Israelites, despite the continuing provision and presence of the Lord, persisted in doubting, grumbling and complaining. We should take from that that no matter how dire the circumstances we must carry on having faith and trust and a spirit of thankfulness. Furthermore, we are expected to be models to our communities—models of love, peace, joy and generosity. We cannot do this on our own. But this is the time to turn to God’s word in the Bible and to lean on God in prayer. Jesus said that people “do not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4). Most people find that reading scripture inspires us to turn to God in prayer. And present circumstances certainly incline even the most doubting among us to pray.
On a lighter note–Vicar Paul Cummings of All Hallows’ Cheadle, discussing the guidance on hand washing, said that we should all wash our hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds—just long enough to say the Lord’s Prayer. He said, “There you have it: the Coronavirus could improve your prayer life.”
That’s just what we are beginning to discover…

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