The weather forecast said rain…..

But it was wrong!

This morning, the skies looked overcast and grey, and the weather forecast said it would rain. It didn’t look like a day for going out. However, I really felt like some fresh air, so putting on a big rainproof coat and boots, I ventured out, expecting the worst.

The thing was, as I started up a modest hill, all of a sudden the sun started to come out from between the clouds. The colours of the landscape around looked as if they were on fire, with yellows and oranges. And the deep indigo sky reflected in the water, and everything was gorgeous. It was such a clear and awesome view, made the more precious by being completely unexpected. It was a gift!

How often are we put off from doing something, because we are advised it is not a good idea, or it will be too hard, or it is just not possible. However listening to the negativity or advice of others is not always a good idea. It is worth listening to people’s insights, but we always need to ask the Holy spirit to guide us, and help us discern what to do. Sometimes it is worth venturing out, even when it looks like it might rain! There might be amazing experiences that we will miss if we stay in.

There is a weariness and cynicism around in the world, that can weigh us down, and make us question if it is worth bothering. But when we look to Jesus’ example, he persevered and kept on loving, even when he faced misunderstanding, opposition and even death. Through the cross, Love overcame all things.

I believe that it is important to keep venturing out, even when we do not know what we might face. In Romans 5, Paul writes about how suffering produces patient endurance, which brings character and hope. Even when things go wrong, God can help us learn things which might help another soul.

Galatians 6: 9 is also a timely reminder ‘ let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the right time, we will reap, if we do not give in.” A song from JJ Heller ‘Don’t give up too soon’ is a gentle reminder of this theme, and worth listening to.

There might be grey days, when we need to stay in and rest. There are days to go forward however, and to keep going, and not give up. For who knows what we will find, if we just keep taking the next step.

Eternal Father, You are the Creator of all things, and just being in Your Creation is such a blessing and inspiration, in all weathers. Lord Jesus, I confess sometimes I am easily put off, or discouraged from a new venture or project, because I am scared of all that might go wrong. Yet You set your face to Jerusalem, even though you faced opposition, as it was the only way to fulfil your purpose. Holy spirit, help us all to discern what to do, and when. Help us not give up too soon, but through prayer and encouragement, to persevere on our journey, Amen.

The significance of doors

Doors opening and closing.

Our beautiful dog Gabriel is so clever that he can work the door handle to the kitchen, so he could get into the fridge- his favourite place! He looks so very pleased when he manages this.

A great strategy to deal with this, was to replace the handle with a door knob, so the dog can’t work it. This is an excellent solution, except sometimes I can’t turn it either, and then we are both locked out of the kitchen!

This started me reflecting on the importance of doors. Sometimes we try a door, and it just won’t open. It might lead to a geographical location, but sometimes to a new experience or spiritual journey. We pray, we bargain, we plead, but the door will not budge.

At other times, doors open that we hadn’t even known existed, and we are amazed and bemused. Is this a door we are meant to be going through? We pray for the guidance of God to show us. A door might open easily, but this doesn’t mean it is the right one.

We know from Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything under the sun, but the transition between seasons can often be messy and poorly defined. Knowing the direction of our calling, and our life is not easy to discern.

There is a song by the band ‘King and Country’ called ‘Pushing on a pull door’ . It is such a relatable song, because it is all about making plans, and thinking you know what might happen, and then everything goes upside down, and you realise that you have been pushing on a door that won’t open in the way you thought. All that energy, until you learn to see things through God’s eyes, and that you need to change your approach.

In this season leading up to Advent, we had plans for Christmas, and what this time might look like, but our plans have had to change dramatically. In these days of trying to keep everyone safe from the virus, we seem to be revising all our decisions daily, and it is exhausting. Do we see that person, can we travel there, should we self isolate, just in case? How do we keep people safe, but also help them to know they are remembered and loved?

Whatever our decisions, about Christmas arrangements, or our path through life, may God guide us on His path, and may we be quiet enough to listen to hear His voice speaking to us. May Jesus show is the right door to go through, and his Holy spirit guide our steps.

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your path straight. ‘ Proverbs 3: 5-6

May we pray: Gracious God, we start of on our journey, thinking we know the doors to open, but finding that the door will not budge, and we get frustrated and bewildered. We do not know where to turn. Lord Jesus, on the road to the cross, the path was often difficult, with unexpected turns. Help us to know this can be true for us too. Please travel with us, give us courage, and through your holy spirit guide our footsteps, and bring us to the place of your choosing, to a place of healing love, obedience and peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.