Encouragement

This week I made a silly mistake.

It had taken me hours to do the work at the end of last year.  I put it all on hold to wait until I could work with a colleague on another part of the task that was beyond my ability to accomplish.  We spent a long time together and completed the task.

But somehow, we got it wrong.  All of it.  I don’t know where the mistakes happened, but everything was rejected.  I was devastated.  It had taken many, many hours for both of us to bring it to completion and we had been thrilled with the final product.

Wrong!

The electronic system which received the upload did not beat around the bush.  There was no ‘hard luck,’ or ‘let’s try it this way’.  It was just wrong – with a list of all the mistakes.

Computers show no compassion.

I reeled back from my screen trying to absorb the shock.

As I thought about it during the evening and the night that followed I began to think that perhaps this was God’s way of saying ‘Enough’.  Perhaps I did not need to do this part of the work that, until the moment of rejection, had been important for me to complete.  I found no answers as I tossed and turned and eventually fell asleep after 02h30, only to be woken by my alarm three hours later for the next day to begin.

I considered staying in bed – perhaps to hide from the world.  But my early morning appointment was a healing service I attend regularly on a Thursday and I did not want to miss it.  So I forced myself to get up.  I was a little late leaving home and sat for 35 minutes in traffic (for a 6km journey).  Plenty of time to continue to stew about my mistake.

There were five of us in the congregation that morning.  Usually, there are a few more, but this week only five arrived.

The preacher leading the service invited us to draw close and sit in a circle.  She told us she would not read Scripture this morning.  She did not want us to go to Scripture.  Rather, she said, she invited us to let Scripture come to us.  She urged us to sit in the presence of God and listen for the Scripture He wanted to share with us.

So we sat in silence.  I have no idea how long we sat there.  I tried to stop mumbling about my mistake and asking God what He wanted, and to still my mind and just listen.  And in the tumble of thoughts, I heard His voice.

“I will complete the work I have given you.”

And immediately there was peace.  I knew that the work will be done – maybe not in the very near future, but gradually as we take it step by step, it will be completed and God will be glorified.

When I looked up the full text later it read:

…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

I was filled with awe as I considered the sequence of events.  A mistake made, a service attended, an invitation extended, and a gracious, loving, wonderful Word from God who cares for us in the details of our lives.

I have no doubt the task will be completed … sometime … and I will keep working towards that goal.  For God has promised and He is faithful.  No, there’s no doubt at all.

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About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I do live in the city but make the most of the green spaces that surround me.
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