Article of the week: God sees you

29 May 2021

REFLECTION

Nicola Walmsley reminds us that God watches over our lives

SPRING is a time of new life and hope. Newborn lambs herald the season’s arrival, along with banks of beautiful white snowdrops, jewel-coloured crocuses and sunny daffodils. Birds pair up, build nests and fill the air with their songs. It is a lovely season after the long, bleak winter. The days get longer and milder, although some days have a chilly edge, which means our central heating may get flicked on mid-morning if we are sat working from home. There is an expectation of sunnier days.

This year spring came as lockdown restrictions were easing again after a year of the coronavirus pandemic. It had been an arduous 12 months, but the thought of reuniting with family, friends and loved ones heartened many. There was the hope of some form of normality returning. As summer approaches that hope is becoming a reality.

I wonder if you have felt disheartened that this has arrived a little too late. Many of us have endured painful separations from loved ones, precious time lost that cannot be recovered. Perhaps income or employment have been lost or, even more tragic, you have been bereaved of loved ones. Maybe you are someone who feels forgotten, discouraged, disappointed, fearful of the future or even invisible. But you are not in-visible – God sees you!

May these words of Scripture bring comfort and renewed hope:

‘Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered’ (Matthew 10:29 and 30).

‘He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart’ (Psalm 91:4).

Psalm 121 tells us that God sees us: ‘He who watches over you will not slumber... The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore’ (vv3–8).

The book of Hebrews reminds us that our hope is like ‘an anchor for the soul, firm and secure’ (6:19). We must never let go of it: ‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful’ (10:23).

Are you anchored to the rock, safe and secure? Are you covered by his feathers, sheltering under his wings? He is ‘our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1). When all around seems like shifting sands, God cannot be shaken. Hold fast to him because he is faithful. He sees you!

A year after the beginning of the first lockdown on 23 March I would have been celebrating my brother’s 57th birthday. Instead I celebrated his life a year after his sudden death. It was a year in which I knew heartache and sorrow, but throughout I was amazed and blessed by the wonderful promises of God.

In that week of remembrance, God saw fit to give double blessings. Two new babies were added to our family – a great-nephew and a great-niece. This reminded me of Zechariah 9:12: ‘This very day I’m declaring a double bonus – everything you lost returned twice-over!’ (The Message). It also brought to mind Isai-ah 61:7: ‘You will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.’

In this life we are all sure to face difficulties, but our God is greater than them and more than able to bless us over and above what we can imagine. In a time of sadness, rejoicing in the new birth of two babies is so amazing and brings such joy, outshining much sorrow. I give thanks to God for his double blessing and can identify with David, who wrote these words in Psalm 30: ‘Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning… You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you for ever’ (vv5–12).

My prayer for those who may feel invisible is that you will know that God sees you. He can declare a double bonus over your life, returning to you twice over that which you have lost during this past year.

 

 

NICOLA IS THE COMMUNITY MISSION FACILITATOR, BARROW-IN-FURNESS

 

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