As I write these words it’s the Feast of Lammas – the celebration of the first ripe wheat. Amazingly, it coincides with the first ship full of grain able to leave Ukraine through the Black Sea to those desperate for food in the Near East!
What Should We Expect as the Harvest of our Belief?
For those of us who have begun our journey of trust in the Lord, what should we expect as the first ripe wheat in our lives? In 1646, just over 100 years after the Church of England came into being, a group of vicars and teachers came to together to consider what was the top of the list. This is what came out…….
We can be sure that believing in Jesus will show itself as a wonderful joy, deep own in our hearts – not dependent on the events or circumstances of our lives, but on the encouragement of the Holy Ghost; He will bring us joy even in the darkest place.
Enjoying God in the Hustle and Bustle
When Nicholas Herman died in 1691, somebody rounded up his notes and letters and a found a simple way to draw near to the Lord.
In 1640, Nicholas became a monk, joining a Carmelite monastery in Paris, and taking the name Brother Lawrence. The monastery rules told him when to sleep, when to eat, when to work and the seven times a day when he should pray. He had no high spiritual responsibility in the monastery but worked firstly in the kitchen and then the sandal repair shop. It was there, in the chores of his ordinary day to day journey that he came to find a precious friendship with God.
The notes he left behind were compiled into a book which was called “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence.
“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at that blessed sacrament.”
The Lord brings us to a place where we can be conscious of Him in each individual event and task in the day, no matter how small.
Enjoying Restful Moments with God
“And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching” (Luke 10.39)
There are joyful times, when we take a moment to do nothing, but sit in the presence of Jesus and listen.
When I was teaching in Skelmersdale, we used to take the kids up Stickle Gill, in the Lake District. For most, this was their first experience of the Lakes. Each time we went, they loved standing under every waterfall. This is a picture our restful time with the Jesus. Every time we, deliberately come to Him, like Mary, we feel the refreshment of pure water falling on to us, and the rising of a spring of joy. Ezekiel (47.1-6) describes his experience of the Lord like a river. Firstly, water touching his toes. Then, up to his knees; and then he’s swimming in the fulness of the love of God.
We can set aside small moments in the day when we can refresh ourselves and enjoy the wonders of God’s love.