Thought from Sainthill - May 2021
In ancient times the Jewish nation was surrounded by powerful and ambitious neighbours. Around 587 BC they were overrun and most were taken into exile in Babylon, modern Iraq, where they were kept for some fifty years and made the best of things, before being allowed to return, bit by bit, to restore their ruined settlements and livelihoods.
Happy Easter! With my good wishes and prayers,
At that time someone wrote Psalm 126: “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion (Jerusalem) we were like those who dreamed...”. In the records over coming years there is a lot of nostalgia, looking back to what their lives had been before exile, and a lot of dreaming and discussing over what life could be like in the future. It took years to re-establish things fully and to restore confidence and ‘normal’ life.
Ours feelings just now may be something like theirs, as bit by bit we return from the ‘exile’ of coronavirus and lockdown, with its various effects in all our lives. For some of us things will never be the same again, for others not a lot changed, but for most of us it has been just a sad but bearable period of loss of the ‘normal’ joys and fulfilments.
Like the ancients we may feel that “God [has] restored...”, but at the same time we may have the frustration of ongoing restrictions, or have to adjust to permanent change. So will we be in sad nostalgia mode, or vision-for-the-future mode, “like those who dreamed”? I for one will need God not just to restore but to resource me for that new vision.
Whatever your situation, I hope you share my ‘dream’ that I may learn the valuable lessons of love and loss, and release the hurts and regrets, -those things over which I have no control. God can take those back!
David (Minister, Sainthill Baptist Church. Telephone, 260071)