Message from Michael
Yielding to Shielding
As I write (on the 1st August), a period of shielding has ended for many in the UK. Many of those who were advised to restrict their social interactions are now experiencing an easing in those restrictions. However, it seems that we are not out of the woods yet, in the UK, indeed, across the world – as the threat of Covid-19 continues to press down upon us. In the face of the unsettling uncertainty and complexity that a modern-day pandemic brings, there are significant questions that arise and we may be tempted to scrabble around for answers that bring reassurance.
What should we do? Where should we go? Who should we look to? Where will our help come from?
I was recently reminded of chapter 30 in Isaiah – I suggest that you read it – and whilst you do so; have in mind our present pandemic predicament.
God brings words through His prophet Isaiah that are both comforting and disconcerting; words of promise and hope alongside words of warning, chastisement and horror. As I read these words and the description of God, it seems that I cannot quite pin down what kind of God is speaking. We have the tendency to want to make God in our own image; 'simpleising' Him, trying to box Him in, or tie Him down, rather than allow God to speak for and describe himself in all His multi-faceted and holy fullness – with the resulting challenge to our own arrogance and self-sufficiency.
To an obstinate people, God has something to say – and He does not mince His words. To a people who recognise and acknowledge their profound helplessness and need in the face of hardship and distress, God has something to say – the Holy One reminds us of the remedy.
I will not expound upon what is written in these scriptures but I encourage you to spend time conversing with the One who speaks and is heard by those willing to hear – reflect and meditate upon God’s word to you in these days. I am very thankful for the gift of the Scriptures, written and freely available for us to read day by day in our own language, and for the precious gift of prayer as we listen and voice our heart, mind and spirit.
Daily, look to and listen to Him who loves you and sent His one and only Son to die for you. Yield your life to Him. He knows what it is to suffer the restriction caused by our sinful rebellion (humanity’s greatest pandemic) – He opts for the lock-down of the crucifixion – choosing to not be able to move or leave the confine of the cross. He does this – that those who place their faith in Him might know freedom.
As the Psalmist declares: “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) As society’s shielding is withdrawn, ensure the Saviour’s shielding remains.