This week all you need is your instrument. We are looking at how to find calm and peace when the situation is worrying - with a focus on Daniel. Don't miss the thankful thought for grown-ups below. Keep me in the loop with anything needing prayer - miss you all. Looks like it will be after Easter before we can be face to face again. Blessings Claire xx
Thankful Thought Thursday 11th March : Exile & Peace : Isaiah 43 v 1-5, Philippians 4 v 1-7
Shalom is such a lovely word – it’s the kind of word Miranda Hart would love it sounds like what it is “a quiet sense of wholeness, well-being and security” which is the peace it describes. Peace is a very hard thing to find as a parent of a young child and parenting the very young can feel like a time of exile. You enter a foreign land when you become a parent, life is so different than it was before. I am sure that has been especially hard during lockdown when you cannot meet in toddler groups or other’s homes to make the experience feel less lonely.
The bible is full of exile stories and of people crying out to God for help from difficult and lonely places. Look at Psalms 42 &43 for examples. The bible is also full of advice of how to find “Shalom” despite your exile circumstances. In essence it is all the stuff you already know about shouting out to God – not turning away from him – even if he feels distant. The bible also makes it clear we must make a commitment to praying regularly, worship regularly and keep a close connection with other believers. Over and over, we read, not to be afraid as God is with us – Isiah 43 v 1-5 describes beautifully how he is close when times are hard.
In my really tough exile experiences, I have found sometimes I can not pray very well – it is more of a groan of inner pain to God. In these times the prayers of others for me have literally carried me through. It is also in these exile times when I have learnt something amazing about God’s love for me and about my need to trust him completely and not to try and soldier on in my own strength. This sense of surrendering to God brings deep peace.
Our prayers can bring us shalom. Philippians 4 describes this need to unite in prayer and how it will “guard our hearts and minds with a peace that passes understanding in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We must ask others to pray for us and with us in the times when we are struggling. I miss you all terribly and our chats over a cuppa. Do email or text me any prayer requests and together we can be calling on Christ to be our guards and to bring us the peace that only he can. If you don’t have a prayer triplet or prayer partner I would highly recommend you consider setting one up. Nothing heavy just meet up regularly – once a month works- zoom works – be real & vulnerable with each other and commit to pray for each other. Note down what you are praying for each time you meet and look back at how faithful God has been. You will be amazed at the testimony your prayer notebook becomes.
Shalom to you all, Claire xx