A Time to Reflect

There is light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, praise God! As the Elders and Leaders consider carefully and prayerfully the timing around our re-opening in-person services, I want to ask two things of you lovely church people!
Firstly, please pray about this. God hears our prayers and He wants to hear them! So let’s not be shy! To borrow a phrase from a friend, let’s “storm the gates of heaven” in prayer together. For wisdom, protection, healing and help. And don’t forget the prayer model we’ve been using:
P is for pause. Take a few moments to pause, quiet yourself and centre on God. Turn your thoughts over to Him.
R is for rejoice. Start your prayers by praising God and thanking Him. Rejoice with Him for all the things and the people that bless your soul. This may take some time!
A is for ask. As you bring your requests to God, do so with humility but also with confidence. Bring all your worries and concerns to Him and do so with confidence. The apostle Paul wrote: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6, NRSV)
Y is for yield. We must always remember that God is Sovereign and in our prayers, as in the whole of our lives, our attitude should be one of “not my will, but your will be done”. God knows best – and we shouldn’t expect that He will grant all of our requests, or answer all our prayers in the way we might want Him to. The key is to trust God. That way, it’s so much easier to say “thy will be done” – and really mean it.

Secondly, take some time to reflect. Let’s not miss or diminish or ignore the fact that we have had a really difficult 12 months. If you think about it, it’s obvious that it will have left some marks on us. Maybe some raw wounds, maybe some that have healed but left scars. Be kind to yourself and take some time to process what has been going on for you this past year. Take some time for your soul to be soothed and, eventually, healed.
I encourage you to write down your thoughts. Take some time. It doesn’t have to be all in one go. But find a quiet space and whether you use pen and paper or a computer, put your thoughts down in writing. Work through them with God. Ask questions. Seek answers. Pray. Laugh. Cry. Beg God for what you need. But do yourself a favour and take some action – don’t suppose you can just emerge from this extraordinarily difficult period and just pick up and carry on as if nothing has happened to you. It has. And each of us will need to take the time to deal with that, process it, unpack it with God. If we choose not to… well, don’t say nobody told you it was necessary – this is me telling you!
As for me, I’m definitely doing that. It’s a busy old time but “it is well”. I’m nearly at the end of another online term at college, and turning my thoughts to our Easter services. I just had a birthday and am reminded again how very blessed I am to have the friends, family and church that I have, who so energise and sustain me.
May God bless you and keep you.
Simon Lace, 04/03/2021