Friday, 15 October 2010

Seizing God's Hand

'I have been with God and with the Devil. They fought over me and God won. I seized the hand of God.'

The Chile miner rescue will be spoken about and blogged about for a long time I'm sure. I think it is a great story that deserves to be heard and spoken about and celebrated.

The quote above from the second miner really made me think about things. I don't know what your theology, belief or understanding of God and the Devil is, but this language of humanity being fought over and seized really grabbed hold of me.

As I walk and pray around Newton Abbot I meet various people from all kinds of walks in life. Every person that I meet seems to be in some kind of battle or wrestling with something.

I met *Bob* the other day. Bob was released from jail after serving a number of years for armed robbery. We spent quite some time talking and sharing and I went away really liking Bob. Now his moral compass is all over the place, yet there was something deeply profound about this guy and something about him I really warmed to. He battles with all kinds of things.

I spoke to *Graham* and Graham has been spiritually searching for quite some time. He's studied various religions, yet hasn't been convinced by any of them. He is now reading Christian theology and is really warming to Christianity. He got hold of my number from somewhere and wants to come and talk things through, ask questions and explore the Bible and who Jesus is. Graham has been spiritually wrestling for some time now.

*Jane* really wants to find a church. She isn't a Christian, but wants to find a church so she can explore faith. She has been to different churches on and off over the years from Quaker, to charismatic, to high church. Yet she as yet has not been able to settle or find the time to commit because of her job and voluntary work. Jane is in a battle about a place she can go and feel settled and comfortable to explore faith.

I think the reality is that we all battle with something. These are three people that I have met this last week and they all have different battles and very different stories. Yet they are all wrestling with something. My hope and prayer is that this new church plant in Newton Abbot will be a place where people can honestly and openly wrestle with faith and life and circumstances, and that in the midst of their battles they will find this church community to be one of love and acceptance, honesty and integrity.

My hope and prayer is that a community of Jesus followers will emerge who have seized the hand of God, and, in the midst of their battles, be pulled through them by Him. Perhaps some of these battles will remain until Jesus returns and spreads His peace across the world. But I hope that all of us may be able to seize God's hand as He stretches it out to us, and trust that He will lead us through into His Kingdom of promises and peace.

I pray that we may be seized by the love of God shown to us by the outstretched hands of Jesus on the Cross. And in being seized by this love you may hold out your hands and be grabbed by this God who loves you with an everlasting love.

'...because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.' Ephesians 2:4-7

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