STILLNESS IN A DYNAMIC WORLD
“We’re not standing still”
That’s the message regarding Church Army's frontline work during COVID-19; we’re not standing still.
And it’s true, it feels as busy as ever. It’s so good for the life of Church Army and those we work alongside and minister to know that we are not standing still. So much of our lives have been impacted by COVID-19, and it has altered and changed or even closed down some of the things we’ve always taken for granted.
There’s a world whose lives have been changed forever through bereavement, relationship breakdown, unemployment, or some other kind of loss.
So it’s important that we don’t stand still, and we continue to share stories and inspire you, our supporters, so that we can continue to resource the frontline work across the UK and Ireland.
In busily doing all that we do to make this happen there’s a risk that we get so caught up in the work that we begin to believe that we are the ones making it happen; whether God is there at all.
In my busyness I have realised that I often forget to ask God to lead me, to guide me, and teach me how first to be a learner, a disciple, a follower of The Way. And for that I can’t afford to be ‘not standing still’. I need to still my body, still my doing, still my thoughts.
If any of this is worth my time and attention, my effort and my busyness, it can only be because I have first spent time in stillness with my Heavenly Father. Then as I allow Him to lead me, to teach me and to guide me, I know that wherever I set my foot that place is solid ground.
We have the resources of Heaven at our disposal so why would I leave God out of the equation and attempt to work from the resources in my own limited cupboard of creativity?
Psalm 146: 1-10 says:
"Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - He remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but He frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord."
So before I get busy and before I stand and rush off into the day…
I choose to kneel.
I choose to be still.
I choose to be with my Heavenly Father in silent contemplation,
Knowing that He is maker of Heaven and Earth.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed,
He gives food to the hungry,
He sets the prisoners free,
He gives sight to the blind,
He lifts those who are bowed down.
He loves the righteous,
He watches over the foreigner,
He sustains the fatherless,
He sustains the widow,
And, in the stillness, I hear him whisper,
“Be STILL and know that I am God”.
So let's pray:
Father, we still ourselves in your presence.
We take a moment to allow emails and jobs to do and the noise of our lives to filter away as we come to hear your voice.
Give us this day all that we need.
May your kingdom be evident in our lives today.
14 August 2020
Paul lives in South Yorkshire and leads Church Army’s fundraising team. When not fundraising, Paul’s ideal weekend would be a day with his grandchildren and a day walking and exploring the countryside and coast with his wife Sheron and daughter Emily, followed by a visit to a country pub with live Celtic folk music.
Waterways Chaplaincy - part of the Church Army family - meets many isolated people or in financial difficulty along the waterways. This is one story of where Waterways chaplains were able to draw alongside and practically support a struggling family.
Robin is a little bit obsessed with Christmas lights... which reminds him of some things that Jesus says about us being a light.
During this pandemic, there's been lots of frustration, anxiety, and disappointment, but there's joy and hope to be found too. Gerry shares a story of where he found joy and hope recently.