Instead of looking at the Bible passage for Wednesday 15th, I would like to share with you how the Lord brought peace into a somewhat fearful situation that I experienced recently. I also believe that it relates well to my previous post about Mary not being able to see the Lord because she was staring so hard at the cause of her sorrow.
With the rise in numbers of corona virus related deaths, clergy are being kept very busy. They are also at risk of infection from relatives who are unaware that they have the virus. I was particularly worried about one funeral, where I strongly suspected that a family member would be present, despite the fact that they should still have been in isolation, having been in direct contact with the deceased at the hour of death. To conduct funerals is part of my calling and I will not shirk my responsibilities but naturally, I pray that family and friends act responsibly, however painful that may be. My heart goes out to those who have been with relatives prior to death and because of this, are unable to be at their funeral, to say goodbye and have that sense of letting go which is so important in the grieving process, but this virus is so virulent that extreme precautions are necessary to avoid it’s spread.
So how did the Lord step in and address my concerns? Each morning, Dave and I listen to the Lectio 365 app (to which there is a link on our website). The reading one day was about Jesus appearing in the room where the fearful disciples were locked away, and how He said to them, “peace be with you”. During the prayers after the reading, we were encouraged to see Jesus entering our personal place of fear and bringing His peace. I immediately thought of my concerns about the forthcoming funeral and felt an overwhelming sense of peace. This allowed me to turn away from my fears and concentrate on the rest of my work. It meant that I wasn’t worrying for a week before the funeral took place. The strange thing was that on the day of the funeral, I heard the very same reading and prayer; it felt as if the Lord was reminding me of His promise of peace before I left to conduct the funeral. I was so puzzled about hearing it for a second time that I had to check the app to find out why it had been repeated. It seems that in fact, it had not been repeated. I can only assume that I must have previously clicked on the wrong day’s reading. How? I really don’t know, but I truly believe that the Lord’s hand was in it. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord speaks directly into our situations, just when we need it.
If you are fearful for any reason, please can I encourage you to see Jesus entering your place of fear and bringing His peace. Amen