18th July.

Last Sunday’s gospel spoke about the seed of God’s Word that fell among “thorns” and was choked by the worries of the world and lure of riches. This is a related reflection by Dr Micha Jazz of Premier Christian Media on “But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:33.

prayerAs a child I was not known for my obedience. It wasn’t that I was deliberately disobedient, rather, I failed to pay much attention as I was easily distracted. Indeed, I still am. As a teenager I became increasingly frustrated with boredom of bureaucracy. It is little wonder that following university, any job that invited me to join the legions of bureaucrats provoked me to run far away.

Also perhaps little wonder that my friendship with God developed so slowly. I certainly devoured knowledge about God, yet in reality found little time or space to grow a relationship. So when MS crashed through the roof of our life, I had very few resources to manage my own inner turmoil. Listening means obedience. It’s recognising that I have limitations. God is only discovered by taking time for personal encounter. Making space for that time proves challenging if one is easily distracted and finds it difficult to pay attention. Yet, our personal frailties are not intended to rob us of God’s presence.

One of the challenges I face is my own anxiety over my future. Recently the Teacher’s Pension office wrote to tell me that the small income that they passed onto me following Katey’s death was not, as I had assumed, a survivor pension, but concluded with my remarriage. Six years on from that date they informed me I owed them £23,000. Now, I don’t do savings, apart from my tax account that held £3,500. Anxiety over how I could deal with this woke me in the early hours and prevented me from sleeping. I recognised how shallow my confidence in God really was. Here was I frustrated because I couldn’t work out how to resolve it rather than benefiting from God’s invitation to live at ease, without dread of disaster.

I learned that although I knew I had journeyed some distance, yet I still had some distance to go. I was wasting listening time by fretting. No obvious answer has emerged, yet I am confident in God’s love for me, however this situation ultimately resolves itself. [Jesus I trust in you!]

QUESTION: Does worry about the future rob you of knowing God in the present?

PRAYER: Lord, teach me how to discern your ways and your will in my life.