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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Saturday 5 September

I’m 8 years old, standing outside a Police office at Paddington Station, holding my Mum's hand, she is crying. She has just heard the devastating news that her Mum, my Nan had passed away. I cuddle into her saying, “Mum don’t be upset, someone somewhere has just given birth to a new born baby, which has all Nan’s goodness and kindness inside them.” I’m told this gave my Mum incredible strength to carry on our journey from Saltash to Hayes where my Grandparents lived, having not made it back in time, before her Mum died.

Sometimes when we are at our most low or challenged, we gain strength we would never think humanly possible and in the most unexpected ways. Upon reflection we think, how did we get through that?  Even the strongest of people tire at times but God’s power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen. His strength is our source of strength, our rock. When you feel all of life is crushing you and it’s hard to take another step, remember that you can call upon God to renew your strength.  

It’s all to be easy to be strong when nothing is going wrong. The true test of strength comes when we face a struggle like when a loved one dies. By placing our hopes in the Lord we are faithfully trusting that his promise of strength will help us to rise above the distractions and difficulties that life brings our way.  On our toughest of days our strength is large because we have God in our lives. He will come through for us. 

I was recently asked to read at my Auntie's funeral and told to choose whatever I thought appropriate. After the initial shock of choosing anything suitable and how on earth do I know what’s suitable, I did some research and came upon wise words from the Prophet Isaiah, which I knew instantly were the words to say. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand”.

As an 8 year old, totally innocent to the ways of the world, I spoke from the heart instantly, comforting my Mum and giving her strength at her lowest. 

Aged 50 I didn’t know what to say but with God's help guiding me to speak those wise words from Isaiah, trusting they would strengthen the loved ones of my Auntie. So always trust in the Lord, he will be your strength and your rock.


Let us pray

Lord of power and might we thank you for the strength you give us. For faith to ease our fears. For lifting us up when we are at our lowest. You are always there for us and ready to help and listen. Guide us to support others who we may meet today. With your help we can move any obstacle in our way and soar upon Eagles wings. Lord we place our total trust in you.  Amen

Steve Hookway