Fresh Hope – 8th February 2017

Do you ever remember getting lost on a crowded beach as a child?

I have vivid childhood memories of my Mom and Dad setting up ‘camp’ on our family holidays, and as the sun came out, more and more people would come in search of their private spot too.

Hearing the familiar words, ‘just be careful and don’t go out of sight’, coming from my Mom, I would make the long trek down to the waters’ edge and play for seemingly hours. Without knowing it, I would lose all sense of direction as I played, and by the time I’d bothered to look back to where I’d left my parents…they had disappeared. I was sure that I was looking in the right place and as panic set in, I would run back up the beach for dear life fearing that I was lost and that they’d left me behind. The more I ran the more I got lost.

Even as a young boy, instinct told me to stop running, stand still and simply look for familiar things. Could I spot my Mom’s bright sun umbrella or my Dad’s shiny bald head, or the steps that we had come down on to the beach? Then with a sense of embarrassment, I realised that they were exactly where I’d left them – I had simply wondered away without knowing it.

As I look back over my own life, I realise those childhood memories are more powerful than they appeared at the time all those years ago – here’s my observations that I trust will help in relation to your walk with God…

When feeling lost, don’t run – instead stop, stand still and focus.

If God seems far away, guess who moved.

If you’re still running, you’re likely to be running away from God and not towards Him.

Just because you can’t see God in this moment, it doesn’t mean He can’t see you.

Look for constants in your life – a Christian friend, a great Church or a part of the Bible that you know has helped you in the past.

Don’t focus on the crowds, focus on Jesus

When sensing that you’ve been left behind, remind yourself that God is just where you left Him – He never changes. If things are really desperate right now, don’t just carry on where you are, hoping they will get better, but turn around, look for the point at which your life started to lose its bearings…and then make your way back. His constant love is still waiting for you.

Pastor Mark

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