Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: faithfulness

Joyful

Joyful is today’s word for the Lent word-a-day challenge.

Joyful?

I don’t feel joyful.

It’s awful seeing terror attacks anywhere but when it’s on your turf it’s somehow so much worse. London is my capital city. This is my country, these are my people. We have been violated.

The media reports leave me cold, empty and sick.

Only a month ago, Adi and I were right there. ‘I’ve never seen Scotland Yard,’ I said. We stood outside and took photos, before wandering past Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. Only a month ago.

How can someone plough into school children? How can someone think deliberately driving into fellow human beings is right? Stabbing, killing, maiming, destroying. Oh God, oh God.

I’m hollow inside for those who’ve died, for their families and friends. Life can never be the same.

And the wounded. ‘Catastrophic’ was the word used by reporters. Great damage and suffering being caused. Life has forever been changed for a handful of people today.

Eye witnesses, MPs, tourists and visitors, emergency services: no one involved remains unscathed.

Wednesday 22nd March 2017 began like any other day and ended in tragedy.

Where do I go from here?

I flicked the pages of my Bible and turned up this passage which seems strangely relevant today. This is where my joy and hope lie:

 When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased,
and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness… one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.

 

Steadfast

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with Moses,
and proclaimed the name of the Lord:
‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness….’

Names mean something. Mandy means deserving of love and my middle name Louise means warrior. I like that combination!

God’s name doesn’t just have a nice meaning, it shows who He is.

I love that when God proclaimed His name to Moses, He said that is slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. This is who God is.

These verses have become very special to me because a few years ago, God tenderly took apart my faulty foundations and began rebuilding my life on truth.  I’ve previously blogged about this.

God is steadfast in His love and faithfulness. This is who He is. I need this truth to hang on to, especially on days like today, when the world is giving a great impression of going completely crazy.

Jesus showed the depths of God’s loving, faithful character 2,000 years ago this Easter. When He died, He became our sin. He took its penalty – eternal death – and He also bore all the hurts and pain it causes. We are a messed up race and this was the only way our mess could be dealt with. Thanks to Jesus’ steadfastness in going to the cross, we can have peace with God. Jesus has done all the work, the only thing we have to do to accept His offer of peace and forgiveness and friendship is to repent. That means making a definite decision to not do things our own way and please ourselves any more, but to decide to do them God’s way and to live to please Him. The gain far outweighs the loss.

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