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Monday, 1 May 2017


The unalloyed joy on a baby’s face, as he sees his mummy or daddy again after a few days’ absence, is just beautiful. He recognises someone who loves him, who looks after him and plays with him and comforts him when he needs it. 

God the Father doesn’t take work-trips or holidays. He is always with us: one of his promises repeated frequently in the Bible. But because he isn’t a physical presence in our lives, it is easy to begin living independently and not recognise he’s there. It’s easy to imagine that we can ‘do life’ independently. 

Nearly forty years ago now, I was pretty much lost in a life choice which was both wonderful but also required a big self-sacrifice. After a couple of years trying to go it alone, struggling to adjust, I was in danger of being sucked under into full-blown depression.  Then I was born again. I was like a baby who suddenly sees his father. The Father hadn’t ever left me, but in my own self-sufficient arrogance I’d been trying to go it alone. The Holy Spirit in me acted like a lightning rod drawing in God’s love and grounding it deep inside, changing me forever. The joy was just like that of a baby, unalloyed, spontaneous, total. I was, and am, so grateful, knowing I couldn’t have done it myself. I was a helpless baby, and finally as I cried out in my heart for help, God came. And I recognised him. 

The joy of the Lord is your strength, the Bible says. There is so much junk in the world, stirring anxiety and fear; there are challenges and obstacles ready to overshadow us and obscure the light and steal our joy. 

I read that plastic can be recycled into road paving, re-using something which will never degrade and also relieving the dependence on petroleum. It made me think of the junk in our lives, all the stuff that has gone on which was unhelpful, even terrible, and which can never go away. God is the great creator, and he can gather up all that junk, like plastic, and use it in our lives for good, in ways we can never imagine. All that hurt and pain that so hinders can be recycled into positive products which can be put to good use in our own or in other peoples’ lives.

God’s presence restores the joy. Placing ourselves in positions where we can recognise and receive from him, where we can be reminded of his unconditional love for each one of us, refreshes our souls. 

May you make time today to marinate in Jesus, who came to give us fullness of life and who loves us beyond anything we can ask or imagine. Such a gift. Such a saviour.

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