Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A promise for those in transition

In our prayer meeting last night we were praying for many in transition. Young teens about to leave for university, pre-teens about to move to senior school, folk on the threshold of hospital treatment, folks in the early days of bereavement. For these and many others life changing events are taking place. These can be unsettling times when the familiar begins to give way to the unknown, sometimes as a result of our decisions, sometimes as a result of the decisions of others. Sometimes the new future is embraced with anticipation, sometimes it casts a long shadow of uncertainty and anxiety. A word from the Old Testament scriptures came to mind…
Therefore say, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” ’ Ezek 11:16 NKJV.

This promise comes on the heels of God's judgement of Israel and Judah as a result of their sin. Their experience to come was the result of their own actions and a modern disciplinarian might well have said "they made their bed, let them lie in it". In other words, this is their own fault let them stew in their juice! But even in the midst of God's disciplining of our lives he brings this promise. Wherever they find themselves and irrespective of where the fault lies God will not abandon them. Their new circumstances will never be 'God-forsaken'. The Lord, Jehovah declares "although I have cast them off", "although I have scattered them" they will not be God forsaken; " I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone." God's earthly 'sanctuary' the temple was gone, there was no turning back the clock. The Davidic dynasty and the priesthood were gone. The familiar supports of their faith were all gone… "yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them".

God, himself, would still be available as a place to find refuge. He, himself, would be place of rest and security. God, of course, is always more permanent than his gifts. If we have God himself available the transition, even the judgement, can be a time of genuine blessing.

The Old King James version gives a fascinating insight into God's way of measuring the next step into uncertainty.
Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. Psa 55:19 KJV.

Those actual uncertainties and the absolute certainty that 'change is here to stay' become the setting for a new era of discovery in which we may discover God in a new way. Don't let the fear of the unknown tomorrow paralyse you. Whatever else may change, God will not. Whatever tomorrow holds for you He himself will continue to be available as the place where you can find refuge and the presence of your God.
“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Mal 3:6 NKJV.