It’s been a hard week for many of us. Riots in South Africa, where I live, which have distressed many; unprecedented floods in Europe which have taken many lives; and I am sure other events elsewhere in the world that I have not heard about. In addition, many countries are fighting their 3rd wave of Covid. So when I read the passage set aside for today, I thought, ‘Why not?’ Why not give a word of encouragement – a ray of light in a dark world?
Yes, it’s Saturday. And I don’t normally post on Saturdays. But here’s a little story that I would love to share with you prompted by this verse:
Anxious fear brings depression, but a life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart. (Proverbs 12:25 TPT)
So here is my story:
On Tuesday morning, when the television was full of pictures of looters and fires I went for a walk. It was a beautiful morning where I live and the sun was shining. But a cold front was coming through and I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine. The clouds over the sea were dark and stormy, but they had not quite reached me yet. Dark storm clouds, I thought. A picture of the events happening here today. I prayed for the country as I climbed the hill from my home and walked a short way along the ridge. As I turned towards the lagoon to start the downward part of my route, I stopped in wonder. South to north, stretching from one side of the lagoon to the other was a rainbow.
I had discovered one of God’s rainbows! My heart leapt with joy as I stood and gazed at the beautiful sight before me.
The days may look dark. Evil may seem to be winning at this moment in time. But God … But God … He is here. He knows what’s going on and He sees where people need help.
In the subsequent days the ground-roots people of South Africa have gathered in the trouble spots, preventing further looting and tidying up, hand in hand, side by side. I have seen children throwing debris into bags; I have seen a granny with her broom, meticulously sweeping her patch of floor; there have been groups of people transporting food to folks whose local shops have been decimated.
There is a spirit of hope here.
And as I prayed this morning I became aware of scenes in ten, twenty, thirty years time. And I watched as men and women say ‘Yes, I was a looter. I was caught up in the moment. But that was a turning point for me when I watched my Granny, my mother, my sister, being turned away from long snaking queues without the food they so desperately needed because I and my friends had trashed and burned their local shops. That was when God touched me. That was the moment my life changed.’
I pray it may be so. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Fill this land with your hope and glory. And any other land where disaster strikes at this moment.
May these words, in this dark time, lift your spirits. May you too call on the living God Almighty in your hour of need.
God bless you this Saturday. Amen.