It was recently my last day in a job I have just loved. When I moved to London 20 months ago I had no idea what it was going to involve. But from the very beginning, it has been an amazing journey. I’ve met fantastic people, I’ve been to some brilliant places and throughout it all, God has blessed me in so many varied and exciting ways.
When I moved down here, I left my family and a city I loved to come to a much bigger and more bewildering place. I look back and I think I understand so much better now what the Psalmist meant when he said: “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6). Actually, a better translation is ‘pursue me’. I feel that is what has happened. From the very outset, God provided places to live, a church that has loved and helped me so much and friends who have impacted and informed my life in some amazing ways.
Throughout it all, there have been good days and there have been bad days. But what makes CARE so special is the people who work here. I’ve met people who have radiated in their love for Jesus and their desire to serve Him. Sure, if you narrowed down you’d find theological differences. But that’s the amazing thing about CARE, all of us, from different church backgrounds uniting around a common desire and a shared belief in CARE’s ministry.
Whenever you go through change, I don’t care who you are or how confident you are it can be very unsettling. Recently, a combination of factors conspired to leave me feeling utterly uprooted. It felt like God was taking away things from me left, right and centre. In an intense two weeks one thing after another seemed to come to an end. I don’t recall ever feeling quite so unsettled and feeling it so intensely.
I say this not because I want your sympathy but because I want to share something of what I’ve learnt. And that is this: God is always good. He is always gracious. And it is at times when you feel you are being tossed on the waves of life, there is refuge to be found in God. In the Psalms again, it says “God is our refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1). And it so often when you feel deserted by God that you discover this to be most true. Go through the Word and there are so many promises to choose from. But especially when you are struggling and feeling unsettled you must go the promises that speak specifically to your situation. I ran to the promise that told me He was with me in the valley. I went to the promise that told me God was for me and not against me. I went to the promises of Christ that we, His people, would enjoy His peace. I also found myself being bitter and angry at God. There were times when I gave into unbelief. But God’s grace sustained and helped me.
When you feel your faith in God’s goodness being tested you must fight the temptation to blame God for anything with faith. When Satan lies to you that God does not love you, respond with faith and be tough on yourself and Satan. Don’t let his lies get a stranglehold. The Word of God is so vital in those moments – cling to it!
None of us know what life has in store for us. We have ambitions and aims and goals, yes, things we want to achieve. We can set everything on achieving what we want. But God often works by contraries to surprise us and lead us in unexpected ways. We must be careful not to impose our will as God’s and presume they are the same. They might not be. God knows us better than we known ourselves and He will confound our plans if they are not what is best for us. Let’s make sure our desire amidst His Sovereign control over our lives is to trust Him. The simple, yet glorious truth is that God has promised to bless us. He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ! But there is more. He has promised to never stop doing us good. The Christian life really is grace from first to last. Praise God for who He is and for all He does for us!