Ah well. I have a warm recession heater on my lap and hot coffee next to me. It is not all bad. And the sun is shining. This makes me see the dust and the state of the windows, so I am ignoring it all. Lalalalalalala.
Remember back in early November when I said I would tell you about Psalm 46? I just remembered that I have yet to do so.
The day before I went to the other inquests in Oxford, I had a call at the crack of dawn from the Coroner's Office to tell me that a lawyer was coming down to attend the inquests and wanted to speak to me, and here was her number and call her now goodbye. I was still in bed at the time, and hurtled out of there (in a manner of speaking) and flew down stairs (in another manner ...etc etc).
As I reached the lounge, en route to the computer to google her and make sure she was real, I had the overwhelming urge to sit down and open my Bible. I had been praying for a miracle/angel/divine intervention for a while, because, my friends, I was tired. Very weary. Battling the giants has been hard. I had been reading through the Psalms, and even though Psalm 46 was one I had read a week or 2 before, I knew I had to re-read it. Right then. Before I googled her. Before I spoke to her.
Now, if you know me, you know that if I am On a Mission, it is head down and full steam ahead around here. But this time I stopped. Sat down and opened the Bible. Re-read Psalm 46. The words "Be still and know that I am God" really have had a huge impact on my life in recent months. And I stayed on the couch for quite a while thinking about the words I had read, and why I had to read them.
Anyway, I emailed Glynis and Jean, who were coming with me, and told them Psalm 46 was required reading before we set off for Oxford the next day. And then I googled the lawyer, and eventually spoke to her, and made arrangements to meet before the inquests etc etc. You know that bit.
And the next morning, off we set at the crack of dawn. A stunning day. Bright blue sun rising. Glorious scenery. We talked about it as we drove. And when we arrived at the courts, Jean got out of the car and said to me - "You get the UCB Word for Today notes, don't you?" "No", I said, I don't. She stood there and looked at me and said "Are you sure?" Well of course I was sure.
And then she hauled out her copy of the Notes and said "Read this. I thought you got the notes, looked at today's words and then asked us to read Psalm 46."
No. I had not.
Wednesday Nov 4 Comfort in troubled times
"......God will help her at break of day."
When your world is suddenly turned upside down, remember, God's plans for your life haven't been cancelled! When you feel trapped with no way out, here are some things to remember:
- Look for the river. There is a river whose streams make glad.... (Psalm 46:4). In Old Testament symbolism, rivers represent God's supply for for your every need. When every human source of supply seems to have dried up, don't fear, look for the river. (We crossed many beautiful rivers on the way into Oxford, and we talked about them as we drove over the bridges)
- Look for the city. God has planted His "...city of God, the Holy place where the Most High dwells" (Psalm 46:4), right in the middle of your circumstances. God's city, the symbol of His presence and power, guarantees He's still in control and that He will restore peace and order to your troubled world. (I was giving Jean directions into the city, and told her to head for the beautiful church spires we could see. The ones belonging to the churches and chapels in the centre of the city.)
- Look for the signs of God's presence. "God will help[you] at break of day." (Psalm 46:5) Daybreak, a symbol of new beginnings, gives you confidence that beyond this time of trouble and testing, a new day is at hand. "Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning". (Lamentations 3:23) (The most stunning sun rose as we journeyed down, and we talked about the beauty of the rising sun, and the dawn of a new day, and we speculated about what it could have in store for me/us.)
- "Come....see the works of the Lord..." (Psalm 46:8) Reviewing the record of His mighty acts builds your faith and reminds you that He is the..."same yesterday and today and forever". (Hebrews 13:8). If He took care of you then, He will take care of you now. (I have made no secret of the fact that I have only survived the past few years because He has most certainly taken care of me. Then. Now. Forever.)
- Look to God and be at peace. Based on the tested and proven foundation of His power and faithfulness, you can live by the Scripture, "Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10). (I loved that verse so much, I had even embroidered it onto the Happy Quilt I made in the weeks before.)
I stood there with the booklet in my hands and looked at my friends. I could hardly believe the message we had been given. If anyone had ever had a shred of doubt, there was no way to possibly explain the series of coincidences. No doubts. No coincidences. Just absolutely real. Confirmation that He had me in His hands. He had the court, the lawyers, the hordes. In. His. Hands. He was pulling the strings. He was in control, and He made absolutely sure I knew that.
So when, a few hours later, the message from the Coroner and the lawyer came that I was going to be back in the hot seat asking the questions, I just grinned and said fine. I can do that. No problem. No panic. No notes. No information re the deceased people....BUT......I had every assurance on earth and in heaven that whatever happened, He was there.
You know what happened at the inquests. The posts are back up again, by the way.
I will say it once again. He is what has sustained me. He has given me the strength. He has given me the courage. And in the end, I have had no option but to rely totally on Him. He has never ever let me down. Not for one second.
This, then, is my God.