Monthly Reflection – May 2015
I hope this month’s reflection finds you well; I would like to thank all of those who joined us for prayer meeting at Police Headquarters on the National Day of Prayer- it was a wonderful time for us! I would also like to thank all of you who prayed elsewhere and sent messages of support! We will be scheduling more meetings and there are plans afoot to move them around the county and beyond to meet with friends from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
Sometimes life just doesn’t seem all that fair!
Praise to the God of All Comfort
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ; so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
2 Corinthians 1 3-11 (NIV)
Ever had a bad day or thought it just isn’t fair? Well I can tell you that I have; things just don’t seem to be going right and no matter what you do it just doesn’t seem to get any better! I had one last week- everything went wrong- My Police car was playing up, the in car computers wouldn’t work, my phone stopped working and then the cars radio stopped working- in the end I just returned to the Police station and did some office based work. But we must remember that our bad days are all a matter of perspective!
In recent weeks and months for me personally, for my family and for our Policing family there have been a number of really bad days, weeks and months! Some of you know that we have had two deaths in our family in the last year; both on Natasha’s side of our family but still none the less upsetting for us all. Also in the past few weeks friends and colleagues from across Hertfordshire and beyond have had the pain and sorrow of the death of our retired friend Mark Empson and recently the death of Simon Tierney whose funeral was just last week. When we consider the pain for those families and for friends and colleagues my bad day last week all of a sudden doesn’t seem so bad.
I have in years gone by and in the last few weeks been deeply upset by things that I have seen including the death of friends and family and only this week took the opportunity to have a long conversation with a friend about my grief and sorrow. She reminded me of something that I said to her some years ago after a friend of hers was tragically killed- I had said this ‘Sometimes there are no words’. For us as human beings there are times when life just doesn’t seem all that fair and in our strength there is seemingly nothing we can say to those around us to help them with their grief.
But I want to encourage you all- God has got it! We don’t need to struggle on in sorrow alone or try and find the words on our own because we have an ever present father in heaven who loves us, cares for us and who wants to comfort us just as we comfort our own children when they are upset. We see in the passage above that we have a God ‘who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God’. Sometimes we underestimate the seemingly little things that we can do that mean so much to those who are troubled, sad, lonely or full of sorrow. This very week for example we as a couple received a gift through the post from someone who knew we had been having a tough time- it was a gift voucher that would pay for us to go out together and have lunch! Seemingly a small gift but one which meant so much to us as a couple because of the real thoughtfulness and love in which it was sent- it was a true blessing!
We read in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’
This wonderful verse from the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t mean that it is good to be sad! It does mean that if and when you are sad or in mourning that you WILL be comforted and you WILL be blessed. Friends I want to again encourage you- you are not alone and you can rely on God in the times when all else seems lost and when life just doesn’t seem fair!
God’s Love and Ours
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4 7-12 (NIV)
We are called to Love one another and never should this be more relevant when we look around us and see the suffering, pain and sorrow of others. I want to encourage you to bless others even when you are as upset as they are; sometimes just being there can be that blessing, buying someone brunch, smiling at someone at a funeral, having a piece of scripture for them when they are have just had bad news or praying for them- all these things and so many more display God’s Love in our lives!
For those of you who are in need of some comfort I would like to leave you all with this quote from a Christian Author Max Lucado:
“You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this.”