Day 1 As the new year starts, we should seek to do God’s will.

This morning I opened up my bible and reflected on the start of the song of Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 32:1-2

32 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;
And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass.

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak.

For the past couple of years I have been exploring my vocation. What God wants me to do. It is funny because God does not normally speak to us in verbal words, or very rarely does He do this. In the past God spoke through His Son Jesus Christ, and before that through the prophets, but God being the creator of everything He can and does use all manner of ways to get His message across – including the rain!

What is clear is that He calls the shots, He directs and uses the situations in our life as moments to lead towards him, even though we still choose which way to turn. God appears (at least to me) to be guiding us, like a compass in the right direction, it’s just that we can take any number of meanderings before we arrive at our destination. It is the journey that is important, important to shape us into children of God.

And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 

What must the words of God actually sound like? Perhaps like thunder to some, as when Jesus was praying and God answered in John 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Or perhaps like  when Elijah heard God’s voice in a whisper in 1 kings 19:12.

So this morning I got up and looked forward to taking a picture of the first sunrise of 2015. God must have decided it was going to be one of those typical British days were the sun does not penetrate the thick clouds that loomed. With my wife Sue, and two children; Charlotte and Matthew – we travelled up to Langdale to walk up to see the “dungeon gill force” and “Raven crag”. It had been a while since I was there and so I was really looking forward to it. But one of the first things you have to learn when out walking is to respect the environment around you, respect the weather. With true British style the rain was lashing down. There was not a hope of getting up there safely today and so a low level route was chosen.

The same is true with God. We must respect our creator, the creator of the world, of the elements and all that is in it, including the weather. We might have one idea of how to achieve God’s plan in our life but God will have His plan, and it is His plan we must discern. As He says in Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

Let my teaching drop as the rain.

We walked up to “Tarn Hows” – a beautiful small tarn or lake surrounded by some well maintained paths and trees. Thinking the rain would not get at us so much here we spent a lovely morning meandering up to the lake, around it’s banks and back down to the car, passing many waterfalls that were giving an impressive display of the force of water. Even though the rain was pelting it down, the beauty of God’s creation was still very much evident. I wish I could have captured the dancing water as it was pushed around in circles on the Tarn’s skin, but as the rain had eaten into the camera it had also made it useless. Instead we had to just stand and watch as the patterns emerged.

My speech distill as the dew

When I accepted Jesus into my life, I thought that I would suddenly be changed and a new person would wake up and change the world. Naïvety always gets the best of me. In a way, just as the dew and rain seeps into everything that it touches, God’s word slowly worked its way into my life and slowly and surely God had His way. God’s plan seeps into my life like the rain seeped into all our cloths, but the outcome is not to be left cold and shivering, but to be left encouraged and strengthened so as to believe we can accept the next part of the journey with confidence.

As raindrops on the tender herb and as showers on the grass

So as the tender herb need the right amount of rain to satisfy themselves and grow, and grass can be drowned in too much water. So too I believe we are each given enough gifts and grace from God to step forward with confidence, through life with faith.

So to I step into 2015 with confidence that God is with me and what ever struggles I face, that God will be with me and guide me, just as the path guided us down from the tarn along side a powerful stream and waterfall of “Tom Gill Beck” to the warm and dry safety of the car. God can also be with all of us and guide us, we just have to let His voice take effect on us, let His voice as rain seep into our soul and change our lives.

With God’s blessings for the new year ahead.

Graham

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