It’s that time of year again and I am taking part in Rethink Church’s Lent word-a-day challenge. Sometimes it will be a photo on Scamper’s Adventures blog and other days, like now, I will write a short blog post.
Today’s word is GIVEN.
I am broken,
but You give wholeness.
My life is ashes,
for which You give beauty.
My heart is heavy and I am in mourning,
You give me a garment of praise and oil of joy.
You give me comfort.
You give me peace.
When I am afraid and overwhelmed,
You are my strong tower where I hide.
Father, You have given me everything I need.
You have given Your Very Best.
Your own Son,
betrayed, abused, tortured, shamed, killed.
Because of Jesus given at the cross,
I can be forgiven,
I can be free,
I can live abundant life,
I know You.
You are my Father, Friend, Saviour, Lord, Comforter, Prince of Peace, Strong Tower, Place of Refuge.
I’ve just had one of those moments.
Christmas. Emmanuel. God with us.
God with us.
That means something.
This is not all there is. (Thank God.)
This year has been the toughest I’ve ever known personally.
It has been twelve months of struggling with mental health issues, significant loss and deep grief.
Brexit, Trump, politics, the world generally going bonkers and no way to get off.
It feels so overwhelming as to render me completely numb.
I’m so fragmented nothing feels real. Not always even sure on the surface that God is there, but occasionally catch glimpses of His handiwork and know that He must be here…. somewhere.
Let this truth sink in: God with us. Jesus chose to come to this crazy, sick, evil, twisted, despairing world. God with us. He came to bring peace. His peace reigning in our hearts regardless of what is going on around or within us. Peace with God.
Because He came that first Christmas, I have a Safe Place to run to and hide. Jesus is my Strong Tower where I and every part of me is safe and loved and known and wanted and comforted.
Shelter conjures up so many images:
A refuge for vulnerable people.
Somewhere unwanted animals can be cared for: cat and dog home, donkey sanctuary….
An umbrella turning inside-out in stormy weather.
Someone shivering in the cold and rain in a bus shelter.
Jesus is my shelter. The Bible says He is my place of refuge and a strong tower I can run to for safety. Like a bird gathering its chicks under its wings against predators, I find safety in the shelter of Jesus’ wings.
This isn’t just poetic language and nice pictures. Jesus is my shelter during life’s storms. He keeps me safe from the enemy. One day, Jesus will be my shelter from God’s judgment and He guarantees me a permanent home with Him. Imagine living with Jesus for ever. Whoop whoop! He’s the best!