Its been a while since I connected with you via this medium. A blessed and peace filled New Year to you and yours!
The seasons of Advent and Christmas came and went, along with the sense of well-being that usually accompanies them. I often wish life had a pause button I could press at those times but alas, such wishes remain in the realm of fantasy. The truth is, it isn't only on euphoric mountains of transfiguration that God is experienced; the divine presence is also in valleys...of pain, uncertainty and hard decisions.
To say we are currently in such valleys would be a kind of understatement and yet, whatever the valley; whether shadows are behind, before or just around us, the challenge and promise of the rod, staff and presence of the shepherd and lover of our souls, provide much that is in fact, comforting.
So, the year has had a pretty rocky start. Road fatalities and murders are fast becoming a feature of our national identity and were that not enough, the Church's credibility, given recent scandals, is being called into question. There is also that troubling fact (at least to me) of what is tantamount to a deification of social media.
Our children and young ones are dying: literally and metaphorically and there seems in us elders, a crippling impotence that prevents us taking corrective action, even in circumstances and situations over which we have some control. I don't know about you, but while my sighs are getting longer and heavier, I find that I am even becoming quieter.
Recently, I purchased a book which I hope to commence reading soon; the title Not by Sight resonated with me as, in light of the foregoing, I have experienced times when even praying seems difficult. Yes, I had to confess that because, titles and positions aside, there is that deep human yearning for the reality of that image in the third stanza of Frances Crosby's hymn...
down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore; touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness; chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
Indeed, we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7 cf. Hebrews 11;1) so...as saints who believe and trust in the sovereignty of our good and gracious God, we will, we must...press along!
I will keep you posted on my gleanings from the book mentioned above. If you're interested in securing your own copy, it is written by Jon Bloom and available at Amazon.
Until next time...