At these pivotal moments, it can be tempting to turn our attention inwards, or to comparison with others around us, and to miss out on seeing the flashes of God’s glory that accompany anxiety, excitement, and disappointment.
In times of great anxiety, I often turn to the glory revealed to the prophet Jeremiah. In the message given to Jeremiah, God is addressing people in captivity trying to keep their faith and culture alive. In this time of exile, anxiety, and uncertainty, God says, “I know the plans I have for you; plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). I pray that we can all commit ourselves into God’s plan.
In times of excitement and looking towards a transition and a future, I am reminded of the great promise Isaiah made to God. Unlike many of the other prophets, Isaiah seems not to have been fearful or resentful. In a moment of hope, when he glimpsed the glory of God, he answered the call “Who will go for us?” with a resounding, “Here I am! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). I pray that we can all receive and answer our own call with such enthusiasm.
In times of disappointment or despair, it can be difficult to find relief in the words and prayers of others. The psalmists, prophets, and rulers who suffered stand as examples to support all of us through our grief. True understanding and balm, though, comes from the Word Made Flesh who is the Spirit who hovered over the waters of creation, and the Creator-Parent who formed us in the Divine image. We are looking to his example for prayer in our worship series at the moment and there can be no greater, or harder, prayer than “Your domain come, your will be done one earth as it is in heaven”. To pray earnestly and honestly for that time when the world is formed as God plans for it to be – whatever that means for us – is the hardest thing to do, but whatever we are feeling today it is what Jesus calls us to do.