Sunday 21st June,2015

I’ve had a hectic week!  You know the ones.  Where everything you planned has not happened because of unexpected and difficult circumstances. 

Sometimes I wonder what the Lord is doing in times like this.  But first, let me tell you about a few things that happened first to give some context.

Preparing for this week’s sermon my time has been swallowed up first by the various and predictable pressures at work.  Also, I was asked to listen take time to care for various people at work and in our community.  That took time! 

But when April, my eldest child, came down with a mysterious sickness for three days that saw her in Geelong hospital on Friday (the day I work for St.Matt’s) I began to wonder if it was more than just coincidence.  The enemy was stirring.

I was tempted to panic at that stage.  When was I going to get time to prepare properly for the sermon I so much wanted to preach on Sunday morning?  When was I going to get the chance to prepare the service that I wanted to be perfect for our community?  As I write this I am still wondering and asking those questions.  The things I had as priority at the start of the week have now been forced down the list.

It is tempting to drop your gaze at moments like this and feel like everything is out of control.  But is it?  Control, it’s a funny concept.  We think we have it, when really we have very limited power over the affairs and circumstances of our lives.  I’m certain God uses these times to teach us about control...or the lack there of.

This week we will recite part of Psalm 16 when we gather to worship.  It goes like this;

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;

               You have made my lot secure.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

                Surely I have a delightful inheritance.

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;

                Even at night my heart instructs me.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord,

                With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

 How encouraging when this is the foundation of our faith in the midst of difficulty.  The context of this Psalm is David asking the Lord for protection from his enemies.  Today, I ask the Lord also to protect our community from harm from the enemy.  So that in hardship, we rejoice knowing that he has made our lot secure in Jesus Christ.  We have overcome in him, we will not be shaken.

Grace and Hope,
Stephen