Musings from the Manse – November

I wonder how you react when you lose something? It might be nothing important but it can still pray on your mind and someone saying; ‘now where did you leave it?’ isn’t particularly helpful, of course, if you knew where it was left it wouldn’t be lost. How much effort do we put into the search, maybe retracing our steps and even contacting places where we have been. We search all the obvious places and then start on the less obvious and so often we find them either in an obvious place but we didn’t look proper the first time or in a strange place because we put them there when we were otherwise distracted. Ie the pair of glasses we have been looking for that we find on the top of our heads, or the remote control we had in our hand when we went to the bathroom and left it there. We might even give up looking for a while and do something different but we can’t focus on anything else properly because we keep thinking about the lost item.

So what happens when you lose God, which we all feel we do from time to time, we can feel a sense of loss that God is not there but what effort do we really put into finding him? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6.33

‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’

Seek without giving up and look for him in all places, maybe not just the obvious i.e. the church building, but what about looking in your home, in your family and friends in your church[THE PEOPLE] and of course in his word. Know that God has not gone anywhere, but it is you that has moved away from him. Indeed, we have caused the separation because of our actions or lack of actions but take heart from Paul’s words to the Romans.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

This text might just as easily add from our present context ‘nor COVID, neither lockdown restrictions, nor church building closures, nor church activity restrictions etc. will be able to separate us from God in Jesus.’ Jesus said “I will be with you till the end of time”, so the question remains how much effort are we putting in to finding him? When in conversation with other Christians about whatever the topic, a good question to ask of each other is ‘Where are you with God, or where is God for you in this?’ So often our conversation can centre around a specific problem but God doesn’t feature until maybe the end when we might say we will pray for you or when we actually pray together but surely if we believe that God is with us at all times we should be reflecting on where God is for us in this problem. Of course going through this pandemic when we are all facing all kinds of problems and challenges it is even more important to ask each other and indeed ourselves where are we with God at the moment.

‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you’ Isaiah 43.5 says the Lord.

Your friend and servant, Alan

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