Archive | November 2012

Grasshoppers and Giants

ImageAre you facing a giant today?  In the Bible, you will find the story in Numbers Chapter 13, verses 26 to 33, twelve men were sent out from the Israelites to explore the land of Canaan, which God had promised them as their inheritance.  Twelve men were sent out, but only two were confident that they could take the land.  Ten men were afraid of the people they saw there, called the Nephilim, and who seemed like giants because they were very tall!  They said to Moses and Aaron, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them!”

If we abandon our faith in God and turn away from our problems, then we easily put ourselves in a position to be swallowed up by what was meant for our growth.

In the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians Chapter 2 verses 1 to 5, Paul speaks to the church in Corinth, and in this passage and elsewhere, he and others present to us two kinds of Christian experience, both are equally valid and necessary.  On the one hand, there are such strong, almost boastful affirmations, for example, “God…always leads us in triumph in Christ!” or “To me to live is Christ!” and “I can do all things in Him that strengthens me!”  Yet, on the other hand, Paul, and others, with equal truth, write that they have had to confess “We despaired even of life!”, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the worst!” and “We also are weak in Him!”

This seems to be another kind of Christian!  Faulty, frail, fearful, and alarmingly lacking in confidence.  But in fact, the real life of a child of God consists in the co-existence of these two experiences.  We would all prefer, of course, to concentrate on the first, and forget the other, but to know them both is to know Him who is our loving Heavenly Father, our God, however we feel…and we can know and rely on His strength, whatever we are going through.

The trials we experience, and there may be one confronting you at this very moment, may be quite as gigantic as were some of the Canaanites, but God intends to use them for our good, and on our way to our destination in heaven, where they will be no more, they will bring us closer to Jesus as we rely on His strength and not our own.  I don’t know about you, but not having to rely on my own strength is a great relief!  I am weak but God is strong! Amen!

Whatever you are facing today, turn to God, be honest and tell Him how you feel…He loves that!  Be still, and know that He is in control and that He loves you very much.  He wants the very best for you – He is the perfect Father and He is bigger than all our giants!  I pray you will know His peace in the coming days.  God bless you.



12 Again

If you have children, you may have seen the programme on CBBC called 12 Again.  In this show, celebrities look back at the time when they were twelve and to things they remember most about that year, things that happened in the news and to them, and what they would say if they were to meet themselves at twelve years old again.  The latest celebrities on the show were Dominique Moore, Ian Watkins and Angela Rippon.  It is so interesting to look back at the shows that were on in the years they look at, especially when it is someone who is my age!

I have recently been reading about another famous person, looking back at when he was twelve years old.  This story can be found in Luke 2 verses 41-52.  It describes the account of Jesus, who went that year with his parents (as they did every year) to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.  When they were returning home, his parents lost him, as, unbeknown to them, he had stayed behind in Jerusalem.

Eventually, after travelling on without him for a day (there were many people with them and it would have been easy for them to think he was among the crowd), they eventually began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  They could not find him, so they travelled all the way back to Jerusalem.

They found him in the Temple and his Mother was rather upset!  She said to him, “Son!  Why have you treated us like this?  Your Father and I have been anxiously searching for you!”  It was understandable – I would feel the same.  But Jesus gave her a very unusual answer.  He said to her, “Why were you searching for me?  Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

What did that mean?

Jesus knew He was on this earth for a purpose.  Both His parents knew who He was, the Son of God.  Jesus was secure with His Heavenly Father.  He knew who He was, He knew He was loved by His Father in heaven.

Our Heavenly Father, our Creator, wants us to be that secure in our relationship with Him.  What are your memories of being a twelve year old?  God wants us to come like a little child to our Heavenly Father.  He wants us to know that we are loved, that we are secure in Him.

In Luke 18 verses 15-17 people brought children to Jesus and He loved them and blessed them.  He never turns anyone away who comes to Him.  We need to come to Him just as we are, simply, like a little child.  Know this…you are loved and God created you for a purpose.

Jesus knew His Heavenly Father loved Him.  He knew God would always affirm Him as His precious Son.  God does the same with us…if He is not saying it to Jesus, He is not saying it to you or me.  He says “You are my precious son…You are my precious daughter.  I have great plans for you.”

Don’t strive to do better, don’t screw yourself up and try too hard.  The best gifts of God are free.  Come to Jesus just as you are, like a little child, and know you are loved…..