Isn’t it strange the things we miss when they are no longer available to us? I wonder what you have missed the most during this season of pandemic? One of the things I missed the most, while I was living in the United States was blackcurrants. Yes, that’s right, I missed blackcurrants! I could buy blueberries by the gallon, but in the area I shopped anyway, there was not a blackcurrant to be seen in any of the stores, and to be honest, although they kind of look the same, the flavour of the two berries is significantly different, and I just love the tartness of the blackcurrant. In fact, I could eat blackcurrant anything, until it comes out of my ears!!
But then, one day, as Margaret and I were shopping in our local HOMEGOODS store in Indiana, I spied some Mrs Bridges blackcurrant jam on the shelves. I hadn’t come across it before, and I was SO EXCITED, that I bought up all ten jars, because I didn’t know if I would ever be able to find it again! I ended up of course giving some away, because how can anyone be that greedy?
Well fast forward to this spring, when I decided that we ought to try and grow our own blackcurrants, and so I planted three bushes in our back yard, and now would you believe it, we will soon gather a handful of fruit from these bushes. What joy!! But last week, when I went out into the garden on one particularly windy day, I discovered to my dismay that one of the bushes had been blown right over, and one other was leaning so precariously, that it looked as if the stem might snap at any time. So, I quickly took action to protect both these bushes from further damage. I stood them against our cast iron bird bath, because I knew that this bird bath was strong enough to give them the needed support, no matter how windy the conditions.
As I walked away though, I began to instinctively think about the adverse winds of life that lash at us – winds we cannot hide from or run from. They come to us don’t they, in various shapes and sizes? It may be illness or the death of a loved one. It may be the loss of a job, or the breakdown of a special relationship. And sometimes these winds can be so fierce, and we can feel so fragile, that they threaten to knock us off our feet or cause us to snap. So how do we cope when we feel that we are quite literally, hanging on by our fingertips?
The answer is of course, that we have to have something stronger than ourselves to support us, much like the blackcurrant bushes needed the cast iron bird bath. We need to have something or rather SOMEONE we can lean on. We need to have a God we can trust!
Psalm 46:1-2a in the Passion Version of the bible says this, “God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble – more than enough and always available whenever I need You. So we will never fear …..”
The longer we live in earth, the more we discover that trials and tests are a part of life. We can’t escape them, no matter how much we wish we could! But Psalm 46 assures us that:
a) God helps us in all troubles
b) He alone is our place of protection and absolute safety
c) He alone holds us up and empowers us in our weakness
d) He is always accessible in times of need and
e) He is enough to handle any situation
God is WHO He says He is, and there is no promise too hard for Him to keep, no prayer too hard for Him to answer, no problem too difficult for Him to solve, and no person too hard for Him to save. So will you trust Him today with whatever is troubling you?
“Dear God. I may not understand why everything is happening in my life right now, but I just wanted to say that I trust You. Amen.”