When I was doing kids’ ministry back in the mists of time, we sang a lot of Colin Buchanan songs. A lot. And frequently too. So you wouldn’t think I’d have forgotten the very simple lessons found therein [hence the post picture, “there’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance”].
But I was reminded of them today. We were the recipients of some incredibly thoughtful anonymous generosity and it blew us away, to be honest. God uses his people–our church family–to love and care. Admittedly, sometimes it can be imperfect because it involves humans, and we can stuff up a fair amount, but I am so grateful to be part of this messy church family that is learning how to love one another and how to live life well in Jesus. It’s humbling to need help too, and so when that need is noticed and met, well it’s an incredible thing. And maybe this isn’t something I should draw attention to or write about so publicly, but as I don’t have any particular person/people to thank, this is me saying thank you! And seeing God at work through his people is what spurs me on, maybe it spurs you on too. Help is there. Hope is there. You are not invisible. You are loved.
And it’s not just material support. I went to the prayer team a couple of weeks ago; they’re a group of faithful men and women who wait down the front after the service to pray with people if they need prayer for any reason. I hadn’t gone to them before, even though as a service leader I’ve directed others to them many times. They waited for me to speak and I just blurted out, “I have chronic fatigue syndrome and I can’t work properly and we have no money” and started crying. The balm of their kind prayers and their care of me was overwhelming. One said to me, “Thank you for sharing that with us, because now we can pray for you during the week too. We would have had no idea you were struggling with that. You lead us so beautifully from the front, nobody would know that you aren’t well.” And I have felt much more peaceful since then, and I know that those people have definitely been praying.
[edit to clarify: I didn’t mention money to them to ask for help, I was more wanting prayer to not fear. This is not a shady prosperity gospel type thing.]
Then I went home from church to do a final read through of the book I’m editing, and it spoke God’s truth to me again. Pete’s writing reminded me that waiting is hard, but to trust God. He knows what he’s doing. He can see all the moving pieces; I can’t. (I would quote him, but as the book isn’t published yet and I don’t have his permission, I shan’t!)
James has been preaching an excellent sermon series at the moment called Knowing God–Intimacy and Imitation (you can listen to the sermons here if you’re interested). Today he said something that stuck with me: “God does not make mistakes with your life”. I wrote to James: “That truth is so comforting and strange and wonderful and terrifying. But it means that we can indeed rest in him during times like this because (as Colin Buchanan says, and as we sang on the way home) “nothing takes God by surprise” and “remember the Lord (oh) remember that he is in control” (sometimes my kids’ ministry days come back to haunt me…). He knew I’d get sick. And he had plans to provide. And it’s the continual lesson and gentle reminder to be patient, trust and wait.”
I am a slow learner. Thankfully, God is patient.
So now, here’s some Colin. Sing along. It’ll do your heart good.