For some reason I ended up on the middle of the footbridge on the outskirts of Town. I parked my bike, leaned my elbows on the railing, and watched the swirling eddies downstream.
I was seventeen: vulnerable and insecure.
"God, I want to follow you," I prayed, "But I'm scared."
A small whisper deep within my spirit replied, Don’t be afraid. I will always be with you. No matter where you go or what happens, I will never leave you.
The plan was that I would write a post summarising everything I’d learned on my 5 month journey through the Gospel of Matthew.
You know what – it’s too hard. You’ll just need to go and read Matthew for yourself.
What seemed to me to tie everything together was “Immanuel”, or God With Us. This was the undercurrent, the who, what, why and how of everything else in the Gospel.
A few days after the February 2011 earthquake, I went for a walk to find a space to pray. I found a place surrounded by open fields and empty sky, and sat on the grass next to a farm gate. But when I tried to pray, for the first time in more than twenty years, I couldn’t. Where my spirit used to be there was a gaping, raw, bleeding space. It felt like my guts had been ripped out, there was a physical pain in my abdomen. I wanted to cry, but no tears came. The grief and pain of the trauma felt over whelming.
I couldn’t “feel” anything of God. But I wasn’t abandoned. Deep down beneath the pain, in the very core of my being, I wasn’t alone. It was like a silent companion, not saying or doing anything, just sitting on the grass beside me keeping me company in my grief.
God, the creator of the universe, both seen and unseen, is with you now. In this very moment, as you’re reading this, he is with you. And in the next moment, and the one after that, he is still with you.
Think on this. Be aware of it.
What difference does this awareness make to the way you pray?
What difference does it make to how you deal with what’s worrying you?
What difference does it make to what priorities you give your time, energy and resources to?
What difference does it make to how you treat other people?