July 25, 2010


Today I realise that I am beginning a new part of the journey which always brings us deeper into our life in Christ. There is the first visible step of a very new path, something not seen or anticipated, but nevertheless incredibly important in what the future holds.

Yesterday I came to the realisation that we are often so focused on the road directly ahead of us, or checking out things way behind, that we miss what is coming up on either side - in this way we miss the opportunity of being turned into a new path that might not be quite as obvious!

The obvious is what we know is ahead, the things we desire, and the destination we are driving towards. Behind us are also things we know very well - achievements or errors it is all known ground.

Catching what is coming up on us, out of our control, means taking our eyes of the road ahead for a minute and not looking behind. It is a loosening of our control for an instant in time and yet a very necessary part of safely reaching our destination.

In terms of relationship also, it is our ability to see the wider issues, and the things slightly out of our normal focus, that help to build good relationships and take them deeper than the surface relating that so often suffices.

This feels like a season to be very aware of the peripheral things that take a little more effort to see, and are more likely to be glimpsed when we are not so focussed on driving forward at a great pace!

What a ramble this sounds, but I cannot over-emphasise the importance I feel of allowing ourselves time and space to get a look at the wider possibilities, maybe at things that had never caught our attention before, or had been hovering at the back of our awareness and need to be given opportunity to come to the forefront of our thinking.

There are things that will always be foundational and are good and true, and yet in this season we need to understand them in a deeper and different way. Let's not be afraid of the unknown but be willing to hold everything loosely so that we might eventually hold so much more.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied: 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'

Minnie Louise-Haskins
Desert,'God Knows'

July 07, 2010

Serenity of Reconciliation

Lillies of the field - Beeri Forest, Israel

Over time I've had lots of thoughts, some shared on this page, of the massive importance of two verses in scripture.  They keep coming back time and again, always taking me a little deeper into their impact on our lives. The first is from Matthew 5 v 9::

  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Much of life seems to have been lessons on this verse, especially about what it means to be a peace 'maker' rather than 'keeper'. To simply 'keep the peace' often means that we constantly enable things to remain exactly the same, preventing the change that God is trying to work out around us.  Much peace keeping is born in fear and insecurity.

Romans 8:19 contains this amazing statement about the sons of God (the peacemakers we've been talking about):

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

Can you imagine something so amazing and important that creation is holding it's breath, eagerly awaiting and expecting the sons of God to be revealed?  This has to be something of incredible heavenly importance!

In a day when we see 'peace keeping' troops being sent into the troubled areas of our planet, the name alone indicates something vital is missing from the equation, and common sense tells us that in many instances it is a fairly futile effort.

Romans 8:14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Here in Romans we have an indication of the special attribute these sons (and daughters) have - something beyond the best intentions and good ideas of men, the 'wow' factor that brings change in ways that are beyond human endeavour.

It takes something more than our human wisdom and ability to accomplish peace 'making' - we need heavenly help, and the supernaturally natural leading and enabling of God's Spirit.

Galatians 3 v 26 is another verse that talks about the sons of God, and it indicates that all those who are believers in Jesus Christ are already sons of God, so we have to ask 'if this is so, why are we not seeing more action in this regard?'.

 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,

Perhaps, as in so many areas, we have carried on trying to keep things peaceful, and even our efforts to make peace have not been by the leading of God's Spirit?

Last week I had a personal lesson in this regard.  For the last few months I have found myself constantly thinking of someone whose friendship I valued but had become disconnected from.  I kept thinking it would be good to make contact again, but kept putting it off.

Then, a situation arose where I knew it was most important to make that connection as the person needed encouragement, love and support.  I made the call (at what I found was just the right time) and a meeting was arranged.

Through the entire meeting I found myself caught in a feeling of peaceful serenity such as I have never experienced before.  I kept wondering what it was, and came away pondering this for days afterward.  As I have pondered and prayed, I have come to the conclusion that what I felt was what the Holy Spirit pours out over true reconciliation when He has led us into it - it is like being held in a bubble of the most pure peace, totally undisturbed in any way, totally free from fear, anxiety, and filled instead with the love of God.

It costs us something to make peace.  It has to be approached with prayer and a willingness to surrender to God's process.  But I now understand why creation waits for this particular manifestation - if the whole earth were bathed in this serene peace it would be a totally different world.