Am encouraging message from Phil
Following last night’s advice from the government we have been told to ‘stay home’ and self-isolate so we can protect each other and help the NHS by not overloading it. And so many of us face the prospect of remaining at home for the foreseeable future.
This is not the case for everyone of course. Many people will not have the option of staying at home but will be out on the front line as NHS staff, police officers, pharmacists, supermarket workers and those in other vital roles. If this is you, can I, and I hope you will join me in this, express our admiration and gratitude to you. We who are on the side-lines of this struggle, salute you and resolve to pray and support you through this time.
I was reading Psalm 130 this morning and I feel it really speaks into our situation right now. At a time when our fears have sky-rocketed, when our anxiety feels like it is going through the roof, the Psalmist reminds us to call out to God from the depths we are experiencing. He says: “Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD” (v1).
The Psalmist has learnt to call on God to hear their voice. Even in our darkest moments, when it feels like there is no hope when it feels like we are drowning in worry and our fears feel like they are overwhelming us we can turn to God and rely on Him. No matter how far down you may go or feel, God always hears.
As well as hearing our cries, God, the Psalmist reminds us in verses 3&4 that God is there with us through our troubles. When we feel unable to continue or feel guilty, God us there with us in Jesus. So even when we feel helpless through God’s grace, we are given the grace to stand up once more and serve others. So not only does God hear our cries for help when we are down, but He also holds us in loving arms and says I forgive you.
Then the Psalmist speaks of waiting on the Lord. Waiting is not something we tend to be good at. Remember how ‘we didn’t have time’? Now we do! As we face this period of isolation, we have an opportunity to rest. May I encourage you in these times to keep in contact with one another, use the phone or social media to help keep spirits high and to ensure no-one is going without.
Also, make the most of this time to do something you enjoy! Maybe you have a pile of books you have been meaning to read or have a project you have been meaning to do for ages.
I hope that in these challenging and worrying times you stay safe and remember to cling tightly to our Father God, who knows us, loves us and cares for us more than we can ever know.
May you know God’s blessings in the coming days
(Phil took the above picture when he was out walking the dog before the lockdown.)