Isn’t it true that we often see better with hindsight? When we look back, given a little time and space, we can see God’s faithfulness to us in a way that perhaps we couldn’t when life was pressing in on us, demanding our immediate attention and limiting our vision.
As I considered the ‘Thought for the Day’ of today’s meditation, I wondered, Where have I been finding signs of God’s faithfulness since thinking ‘sunrise thoughts’ and writing the meditation words all those months ago? It did not take long for me to answer the question.
Many things sprang to mind: events, experiences, days and moments, but what I thought of most were people. Names and faces appeared, scrolling in my mind like a mental Instagram feed. I thought of my family, friends both nearby and far away, church family, work colleagues, youth workers, book writers and conference speakers, school acquaintances, Facebook ‘friends’ and Twitter strangers; even the man who stopped to offer assistance with my awkward ‘car on the side of the road’ predicament came to mind.
Encouragement and help come along in all sorts of human shapes, sizes and ages. Encouragement is sincere listening that deflates the balloons of worry inside us, and the sharing of stories that give us hope and puncture our anxieties. It’s text messages with thumbs-up emojis, smiley faces, and praying hands; it’s the unexpected hug or the card in the post; it’s the lines in a book that reverberate for days after reading. Encouragement is the ringing words of the preacher or the courage of a shy teenager telling her story. It’s seeing the blossoming of youth into a new, deepening maturity in faith and service; it’s the steadfast, persevering trust of the elderly and wisdom from the mouths of babes. It’s in praying and reading scripture together in our living rooms; it’s in coffee shop catch-ups, barbecues in the garden, and gathering around kitchen tables. It’s in singing together and sharing communion bread and wine on Sundays. Encouragement is all of these things and much more; it is the words of Paul in Romans chapter 1 being played out in ordinary life: ‘mutually encourage one another in faith.’
The perfect faithfulness of God can be discerned in the actions of the imperfect people who belong to God and who are loved unconditionally by and find redemption in God. We can act faithfully with intention, or we can do so without even realising it by just being ourselves, and simply being present.
In ways great and small, people have shone the light of divine love onto the prism of my own faith, helping it to grow and refract beams of colour outwards. It is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, transforming us to be like Jesus and showing the glory of God to the world. Such mutuality is a reflection of the Trinity where each member gives and receives in loving, joyful community. It is the dance of Kingdom life.
May we continue to live with expectancy, searching for the signs. May we see the faithfulness of God everywhere and in everything.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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