Peace be with you

Do you struggle to give things up for Lent? Me too! I find it easier to commit to new practices such as reading my bible than trying to go without chocolate wine or chips!

I’ve got a book called bible study for busy women and normally I’ve read it before bed or to start the day and rush off into the next thing feeling smug that I’ve thought about God at all.

This Lent I’ve tried to repeat the bible verse for the day and try to memorise it and then think about it over the course of a few days. I read about meditation and this is sort of the same idea, I am completely incapable of clearing my mind and sitting still for 15 minutes which is the goal, but I think 5 minutes thinking about one bible verse should be achievable!

So far I’ve not managed it every day, but find myself more in tune with God, as I am listening more I think. On Monday I got a text through from a Salvation Army subscription. It said “it isn’t enough to talk about peace- we must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it- We must work at it”

I didn’t really understand the relevance to my life. I am not living in a war zone, I am not a person that goes around creating havoc, or disruption, so how was this relevant to my quest for spiritual enlightenment…?

On Tuesday I went to a bible group in the office for the first time, and shared this text with some other Christians and as we prayed, we had a real sense of God’s peace descending on us as we sat in the meeting room in our council’s HQ. It felt amazing to know God was there with us in the middle of meetings, emails, budget cuts, and all of us trying to do our best for the public, with less and less resources and colleagues losing their jobs. As we work in the public sector to deliver services it is increasingly feeling like a war. We need more money/staff and time to develop first-class provision, but every year there is less and less to meet growing demands. This is really difficult as a Christian when you can see vulnerable people who need help but you have to pull-back. We prayed for our individual circumstances, but I had never really given my work that much focus to God before and it felt really good.

It was great to meditate on God’s peace and try and strive to replicate this in the face of all the difficulties, and has given me a real sense of calm about what I am called to do on a day-to-day basis. So I just wanted to share this with you this verse:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15 v 13)

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