Today, the sun is shining and I am feeling encouraged.
Recently however, the clouds have followed me and my moods tend to be taking the form of scattered showers and eventual downpours. There is a low pressure system fueling a rather torrential storm of crying, anger and general self-pity. Why?
I have come to appreciate that, like the weather forecast, I am experiencing changes that have consequences on my daily life. Just like questioning the weather, as to determine whether (make sure you are grammatically correct at this point… *weather* or *whether*) to bring a coat or an umbrella, or wear flip-flops or boots, or to bring a jumper just in case it gets cold, I find myself in a place of change. I have come from a quiet, country life to a bustling, built-up city. I have gone from working to deadlines at university, to not working at all and experiencing life as an unemployed member of society. I have retreated into my shell as I stay at home, rather than meeting and socialising with other people regularly. It is a good job that I am used to living in Britain as I am no stranger to the rain…
Despite this rather sad start to a blog post, I want to encourage you wonderful readers as well as reminding myself, that through the storms of life there is calm. Although the clouds may hide the sun, the sun is still there and still shining. Even if we cannot see the stars or the moon on a cloudy night, they are still there shining as brightly as they have ever done. In a similar way, Jesus Christ is an ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). I find myself in a spiritual battle, often neglecting time alone to pray and spend time in the bible. Nonetheless, the bible is so clear and the Lord is so inviting and welcoming to all people, and welcomes them in all their fears, failures, worries, anxieties, problems, pride, doubts and so much more:
“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8 NIV).
Moreover, if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James: 4:8). If we truly want to meet with Him, He is ready to receive us and longs for us to return to Him in our own free will. His grace does truly abound for every situation in life we find ourselves in. How do I know this to be true? His grace was shown in its fullest towards us when Christ died on the cross. This picture of grace is so hard to fully comprehend (it is outstanding, amazing and leaves me in awe that the Son of God would die for me), but so simple in its truth that anyone can receive this grace, this love, this Jesus for themselves, if only they choose to make that choice.
To see Jesus as a personal Saviour to each one of us and a path of peace and restoration to a relationship with God the Father is an amazing truth, that resounds from generation to generation. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means that even though life is one unpredictable weather pattern, we have a God who is our shelter in the storm and a shade from the heat (Isaiah 25:4).
I will finish with a quote from A.W. Tozer, who was a Christian pastor and author:
“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.”
This could be said as a prayer through this spiritual battle I encounter and a comfort to know that my Lord is an ever present help in times of trouble. As I take my eyes of of myself and look to the cross, I long for God more and more, and want to be made new daily in my walk with Christ.