Paper-thin trust: a reflection 9th November 2020

A dywedodd wrth bawb, “Os myn neb ddod ar fy ôl i, rhaid iddo ymwadu ag ef ei hun a chodi ei groes bob dydd a’m canlyn i.”

Luke/ Luc 9:23

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Angela Saunders writes:

These are grey, bleak times. The days are wetter, the nights are darker and we are still living restricted lives.  We have lived through the long lockdown of spring; a summer of limited socializing; now autumn, starting with local lockdowns merging into 17 days of full lockdown.  We are weary and tired of it; we long to hug and hold our family and friends; we long to attend weddings and funerals, to celebrate and grieve together – but it looks as if it will be a long time before any of that is possible.

Jesus said that if we wish to follow him, we must take up our cross each day – there is no escaping it, each of us has been touched by suffering during these difficult times. As in ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’, we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we can’t go round it, we’ve got to go through it.  There is no other way.  However, unlike in that much loved children’s story, we are not hunting for a bear only to take fright and run home. We are on our journey through life. We are carrying our cross whilst trying to hold on to the fact that the cross leads to the Resurrection. 

Our journey is a paradox. We long and yearn for God, reach for him and take stumbling steps each day, trusting that we are getting closer. However we also know that he is already with us. He is at our side, guiding us and even holding us when we fall.

At the moment, it may feel that our faith and trust are paper thin, like the Physalis casing in the photo. Nevertheless it is true that by persevering, trusting, loving, praying and hoping, precious fruit will develop (even if we sometimes remain unaware of it ourselves). 

We do not know what lies ahead, we do not know how long this suffering will last, but we do know that God loves us. However thin and fragile, we are always precious in his eyes.

Lord, we are tired and weary, our trust feels paper thin, help us to take up our cross each day and follow you. Help us to know that you are there, even when we cannot feel your presence. Help us to trust that even though we feel barren, we will bear fruit. Amen.

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