Day 85: Be blessed
Having recently resigned as Pastor of a church I deeply loved I have been reflecting on the people I came into contact with over the years. There have been many seasons of blessing, testimonies and I was indeed a blessed Pastor. To see people come into the church community and through the work of the Holy Spirit change to become Christ-like was the greatest privilege.
I think of a lady who came with such anger towards God, the church and I having never met any of the three! Today she is a beautiful, peaceful, gracious woman.
The man who came with such scepticism and a clear message that no one will invade his private space is today one of the key workers in the church.
The broken, bruised and battered have been healed.
Several weeks before I left I believe God led a certain man to the church.
He had become well-known in the town, having been kicked out of pubs, supermarkets and churches!
What he found in this church was something different. The community didn’t judge him. At first he couldn’t cope with their love and acceptance. He would be quite vocal at his disapproval at God and the church. But gradually I saw a work of the Holy Spirit in his life, a work of restoration.
The day he took communion for the first time, there was a tear in every one’s eye. His self-image was so low that on our final service when we had the church photograph he tried to leave because he didn’t think people would want him on the picture. I ran after him and brought him back and put him on the front row.
I think of him this morning as I read these words, “Restore us again, O God our Saviour” v4.
Every person has a story.
What happened for him to end up like this?
Why is he so angry?
Who was he years ago as a young man, a child?
What were his dreams and hopes back then?
Who did he love? Who loved him?
What were those decisions he made?
He has a story.
I know that within that church he has the wonderful opportunity to find a new beginning.
So I pray … restore him O God our Saviour!
Restored and blessed!