Stephen shared the following thoughts at the Sunday morning meeting on 24th July.
"May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:4 Paul Wilcox brought a word from the Lord last Sunday that in essence simply reminded us of His love for each of us “I love you my children”. God prepares our hearts for times when they will fill to overflowing with questions. We are mourning the loss from amongst us of John; we may feel most acutely that he is lost to us. Yes, he is with his, and our, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yes, we will be reunited with him in God’s time, but what we have been so used to for so many years is so suddenly lost to us, and God knows this. He knows that we all have questions unique to the way we understand God, to how we understand the world he created. Why do others see things differently to us? Why God, do your answers raise more questions within us? Psalm 85:8 says, “Let me hear what the Lord God says, because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.” Today, and in the days ahead I believe that the Lord wants each of us to dwell in patience, and in an environment of physical and spiritual peace; that he wants us to speak from a condition of rest. Nothing tests the relationships of a group of people more than the loss of one they love, if they do not first find God’s peace in harmony with each other. Jesus knew this, and expressed this in… John 14:27 Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid of what you are feeling, let the Holy Spirit help you with the expression of what you are feeling as we share together for a while this morning.
There is a time for everything. Kelly reminded us of this last week. In Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 are a list of opposite ends of what comprises human experience. In verses 11 and 12 it says of God that: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people to be happy and to do good while they live." Our experience of moments in time can occasionally become profound, we are in such a moment. At a time like this the existence of our true heart becomes vivid. Not the heart that pumps blood around our bodies, but the heart that is our very essence, our soul. We may not be able to fathom what God has done from beginning to end, but we can fathom what God is doing in the present, understanding what He has just done so that we can move forward in life. Moving forward together is not leaving anyone trailing behind. When we meet over coffee or in going for a walk, we should encourage each other to be guided in prayer, we should lodge our questions together in prayer, and wait on the Lord for His answers. God is in no hurry, and neither should we be. Doubt needs a vacuum in which to brood, so don’t give it one, ask and be satisfied that you have asked and then wait. Grace has been described as 'the power that God willingly gives us to help us do what we could never do on our own'. God said to Paul that “My grace is sufficient for you”.
There is a time for everything, this is a time to draw on God’s grace.