Now, we are at the end of the year – time to take stock of what has happened during the year – lessons learnt; and, hopefully we can say that our relationship with God has grown stronger and deeper (in love and trust).
I like a lot of what Selwyn has to say – especially the way he summarises the last two months, in regard to the subject – ‘Surprised by God’. He says: “God’s work, we said, is seen clearly ‘only now and then’. The Almighty occasionally breaks into our lives with surprises that serve as mountain peaks from which we can view the rest of His more subtle work.
We have stood together upon some of those mountain peaks and surveyed the wonder of this most surprising God – the way He answers prayer, the manner in which His Spirit draws people to Himself, the turning of the ordinary into the extraordinary, the forms of deliverance He provides when we are experiencing difficulties, the way He pours deep and lasting joy into our hearts, the relevation of the Church, the glory of the incarnation of Jesus Christ and of course, His coming again.”
The important point, I believe, we can learn from the last two months is that God does do extraordinary, surprisingÂ things – it is not an attempt to impress us with His power – but it is an action born out of His love – with the purpose of bringing us into a closer relationship with Him.
If we have no relationship with God in this life then, in general, will not have a relationship with Him in the next. We will go to a place where he chooses not to go – a place where there is no light, no love, no companionship, no friends and no familyÂ – a dark place full of the sounds of weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
Yesterday – a man died on the gallows. His year ended – as did his life. Yet, all of us started this life as someone in bondage to our evil desires – and there is no way for us to free ourselves from this bondage which always ends in death. Good works can never buy or earn ourselves freedom – only a surprising act of mercy byÂ our loving God can set us free. Perhaps, a useful place to start as we think aboutÂ any New Year resolutions – do you agree?
The main verse for today is also worth thinking about (Isaiah 40:25): ‘”To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.’