Guest writer: Nick Stead, theprayerplace.net
I was out for a lockdown walk one afternoon this week, and the bitter wind was making me quicken my pace as I headed home. Ahead of me the January sun had dropped from its midday height and was slowly making its way towards the horizon, yet its watery rays still kept the afternoon alive. To the East, however, the sky was still blue like a summer’s day, and high up, as if watching from a distance, was the moon.
We usually associate the moon with the hours of darkness, not expecting to see it’s characteristic face during the day. It’s usually somewhere in the sky, but being outshone by the sun, it’s not as easy to spot, especially in the UK’s cloudy climate.
Something else that is often associated with darker times is prayer. How many people have turned belatedly to prayer during these last twelve months, when facing illness, unemployment or bereavement? In tough times like these we need help that is real, when a sense of peace from exercise or meditation isn’t enough. In prayer we turn to the only One who can truly perform the miraculous, even if we’ve kept Him at arm’s length until now.
So, what do we find when we turn to our Creator for help? Surprisingly for some maybe, we find a heart of love; a heart that carries our burdens and shares our sorrows; someone who understands what we’re going through, because He’s been there Himself. Someone who will either turn our situation around or will walk with us through our time of trial.
The relationship we each have with our Creator is all important. It’s through that relationship that we make sense of life, and have hope for the future. Stability seems in short supply at the moment, so it’s especially at times like this that we turn to Jesus. Here are some words of hope written approximately 3,000 years ago that I find helpful to cling to during these uncertain days. They were written by an ancient king, who lived in turbulent times, often fearing for his own life. Yet he always looked to the One who could save him.
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a song of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in Him.”
Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT)
May we all find peace and stability during the coming months, and discover fresh hope that gives us “a new song to sing”.