There is still good in the world!

Hope.

There are days that seem heavy, when things just don’t seem to be working out. It can be little things, a parking fine, the washing machine breaking down, or something more serious, like a misunderstanding with a friend. There are things that frustrate us, worry us, or can just seem like one thing too many. Often it is not just whatever that has happened, that is troubling. It is what it represents, or what we are already trying to deal with, that can make it seem hard. It can be the straw that threatens to break that camel’s back.

The danger is that when negative events accumulate, that we lose our sense of perspective, and the world can seem a dark place. It makes us not want to get up in the morning, or to want to escape our responsibilities for a while.

This week was very busy, and I seemed to run from meeting to meeting. One evening, about 8.30pm a young man came to my door, and asked if I had lost anything. I said no- reasonable confidently. Then he gave me my purse back, sealed in a transparent plastic bag. His girlfriend had found it, where I had dropped it, over 5 miles away, and they brought it back to me intact, and out of the kindness of their hearts. They didn’t want anything for it, they just wanted to reunite it with its owner.

In the midst of these turbulent days, it is good to be reminded that some people are just really kind. They have no hidden agenda, no selfish motives, they just want to do the right thing. And meeting these people is such a joy, and actually there are so many about. They remind us of the goodness in the world, and that there is always still hope.

In the bible, there are so many stories, where people make mistakes, or are struggling with purpose or loss, and then something brings them a glimpse of more positive possibilities. The psalms are full of such moments, and a recurring theme is that God’s nature never changes. It is so simple and yet powerful, like psalm 100 verse 5 ” For the Lord is God, His loving kindness is everlasting. ‘ We are so thankful.

Gracious God, we all have days when we feel down, when so many things go wrong- some are just frustrating, others deeply worrying, and they all deplete our energy. Lord Jesus when we feel like this, may we remember Your unrelenting goodness and grace, and find hope. Thankyou for people who quietly show great kindness to others. And when we wonder where these people are, may Your Holy spirit inspire us to be people of grace and care to others. Thankyou for all the good in this world, we praise You, Amen.

After the rain……

Black clouds and then ethereal beauty.

I was fortunate enough to be away for a few days up north. I so appreciated the change from the normal frantic pace of life, to a time of space and light and rest. I was so blessed. The weather was often amazing, but there was a particular day when you could see the black clouds gathering up ahead. There was nothing I could do, but wait for the inevitable rain. The deluge was heavy and torrential and the puddles deep.

However, after the rain, it was magical. There is a softness in the light, and the whole of creation seems to be coated with a reflective shimmer, that adds brilliance to all things. It was magnificent.

Often we question why there is so much suffering in the world, so much heartache and pain. There are no easy answers to these profound wrestlings about meaning and purpose.

Yet often on our journey, we find that after the rain and the sorrow, we develop a patience and a softness to us, that we have learned in the midst of trauma and sadness. We learn what is important, and what really doesn’t matter at all.

The temptation when skies are dark, is to become overwhelmed, to doubt, to become full of self pity or resentment. Why has God allowed this to happen, we shout.

Yet, even in the darkest and coldest experiences, we discover the tender presence of Jesus alongside us, we find a flicker of light, an act of kindness that brings comfort and a deep sense of connection. And these moments transform all things, and help us trust that God is still good.

I was thinking of the verse from Leviticus 26:4 ‘ I will send you rain in season, and the ground will yield its crops, and the trees their fruit.’ Even the rain has a purpose, and can bring new life and growth.

Creator God, You have created a beautiful world of light and shadow, rain and sunshine, heat and cold. Every experience can have significance and purpose, and we learn from each one. Lord Jesus, you teach us that after the most terrifying storm, can come peace, and that after rain can come a deep calm and serenity. Whatever adversity we have faced, or are facing, may your holy spirit help us to find a deeper insight and new perspective, which brings us wisdom which we can share with others, and draws us closer to You, Amen.