Article of the week: Make progress

9 May 2020

REFLECTION

Songster Leader Andrew Mair (Sunderland Millfield) encourages us to move forward in our faith

IF you could see yourself in five years’ time, what would you like to see? If you could rewind the past five years, what would you like to have done differently?

Two different questions, providing an opportunity to look back and an opportunity to look forward. In both scenarios there is a chance to make progress.

Progress can take many different forms. However, as Christians our ultimate goal is to be more like Christ – seeking his influence and surrendering to his will for and in our lives. This enables the Lord’s presence to be realised as enriching and transforming, the catalyst for us to become better in every sense of the word.

Our world at present is one of great uncertainty. There is much concern for our well-being and the well-being of others. This pandemic is not happening in countries far away, which we see on the news or read about in papers; it is very much among us and affecting every single one of our lives in some way.

We are living under restrictions implemented by the government, we are shocked by the rapidly increasing number of people contracting the coronavirus and we are disappointed by some people’s disregard of the measures put in place to prevent it spreading farther. Daily, we are concerned that we cannot see and support friends and family in the way we want to. We do not really know how long this situation is going to last before we can get back to normal.

If you could write your story for the next five days, what would you like to achieve?

Maybe during this time of unpredictability and concern – yet a time when some may actually have more time for themselves – we can take opportunities to realign our focus, our short-term and long-term progress towards our goals, our faith lives and our chance to connect, and stay connected, with people in new ways through technology. You may find you make more progress than you ever would have thought at such a time or in such a short space of time.

Psalm 139 expresses the reality. God knows the real you: ‘You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar’ (vv1 and 2). God is closer to you than you realise: ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there’ (vv7 and 8). God wants to be in your life.

I hope and pray that despite the great concerns and frustrations of this present day, we can all make some progress for ourselves and for the benefit of others, with the strong knowledge and affirming truth that God is with us, that he knows what has gone before and knows what lies ahead – tomorrow and far into the future.

And with this deep in our hearts, keep trusting, keep praying, keep praising and keep connected. Be blessed and be a blessing.

Whether it be a reflection on the past five years, ambitions for the next five years or simply how best to use the coming five days, make progress – because he knows and he cares.

 

I shall not fear though darkened clouds may gather round me;

The God I serve is one who cares and understands.

Although the storms I face would threaten to confound me,

Of this I am assured: I’m in his hands.

I’m in his hands, I’m in his hands;

Whate’er the future holds

I’m in his hands,

The days I cannot see

Have all been planned for me;

His way is best, you see;

I’m in his hands.

(SASB 848)

 

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