Speedbumps and Stepping Stones

Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? You’re glad you did it aren’t you? For me, some of my most significant moments have been the trials… the tough times, the things I had never come across before and didn’t know how to tackle. There’s something special about a good old fashion challenge & taking the time to conquer it. It’s like something within us longs for challenge. A ‘soul craving’ so to speak.

Why?

When we wrestle with something bigger than us, we grow stronger. Strenegth doesn’t come without a challenge. Without a battle there is no hero, without a trial there is no victory, without conflict there is no progression.

Psalm 84 talks about righteous people going “from strength to strength”. This used to be my prayer for a long time before I actually understood what it meant. I used to think that God would bless me with no problems, that if I found something hard, God should deal with it for me. Meanwhile, I’d ask God to make me strong. I wanted to be the hero, without the battle. I wanted to have victory without a trial. I wanted muscles without resistance.

Sometimes the things we think are speed bumps are actually stepping stones. They are the very things we need in order to grow into a stronger person.

Our prayer: May our trust be in God alone. He is larger than our circumstance. And when we face the difficult, know that God is transforming us into his likeness.

Tim Bain

The Desolate Place

Mark 6:31 Jesus said to them “come away with me to a desolate place…”

Throughout the gospels, it is mentioned several times that Jesus would withdraw from the crowds and spend time with God or the disciples. Whether on “mountain tops” or “the wilderness”, Jesus thought it important to isolate himself from the busy life and distractions so he could focus on the things eternal.

There are so many things competing for our attention. It’s distracting…

I’m a fan of Jesus. I like his style. I like that he was perfect and yet realised that our exterior can easily affect our interior. Jesus withdrew from ‘Hurry’, ‘Worry’ and ‘Busy’ and regained focus on what really mattered.

Our prayer: As we intentionally take time out with God, May we gain focus on the eternal matters, God’s Kingdom. May we see our world through His eyes.

Tim Bain