January 28th – ‘Be Still, and Know’



‘The ocean is so vast, and my boat is so small’ is a feeling we all recognise. Part of being human is being aware of our vulnerability. We are never more insecure than when people reject us and dislike us. Whatever we say, we all like to be liked. ‘Acceptance is the atmosphere of our humanity’ said Jurgen Moultmann, which underlines that when we are rejected, attacked, criticised, disliked, even detested, we shrivel. Great actors confess that amid a thousand reviews of their performances which are good, the one bitingly critical review is the one they remember. It hurts for days and months, even for years.
When a minister of a church attempts to move the church on and some members object to any changes to anything that they have got used to, it is quite usual for the objectors to resign their membership in protest. The minister feels as if has been sentenced to death for walking on the grass.
When we feel hurt, insecure, wronged and rejected, what do we do? In the end the only place we can go is to God. Like a child who has hurt himself and runs crying to bury himself in his parent’s arms. God receives his children, but his comfort is always greater than soothing us down “there, there, let me kiss it better”. He speaks truth – He puts reality to our situation. The longer we stay hurt, the more we see that the hurting and the hurters are both wrong. Even a Christian under attack has to search his own heart only to become aware that the godless attitude of his enemies is matched by his own practical atheism. That’s when we profess selfless faith, but practise self- preservation and self direction. Our passions need to be harnessed under God’s control. Even the very ceremonies and duties of orthodoxy cannot prevent us from sliding into the dark pit of self pity, if we let them. When we do come to God and face Him, humbly and willing to be taught, He faces us, and when we’ve stopped kicking and screaming in pain and shock, peace begins to flow again, and we can sleep.
O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him”. But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill…..I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side…….I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalms 3: 1-3, and 4:8
A Thought for Tonight: If He who watches over you neither slumbers or sleeps, there is no point in both of you staying awake all night – is there?
Now read Genesis 28: 6-22

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No Christian is ever going in the right direction when he has his back to God. (Anon)

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