'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose'. Romans 8:28.
I can't believe I've lived in Ealing for almost 20 years now. About a year after I arrived from nearby Chiswick I was faced with a difficult situation. I had worked for a Government-funded tourism organisation in Hammersmith which I found rewarding and enjoyable. The organisation was being merged with another and many posts needed to be axed. To cut a long story short I had to decide whether to take voluntary redundancy which offered a generous package or to join the 'new' organisation in a role that didn't really suit my skills and abilities. It may seem like a no-brainer but I was a person who didn't like change so felt afraid and that my life was being turned upside down. I remember sitting on a seat in Cleveland Park and staring into the distance towards Harrow-on-the-Hill. I cried out to God in my head and after a while I heard the comforting words of Romans 8:28, a verse that had been meaningful to me in the past. I realised that if I truly loved, trusted and obeyed God, through Jesus Christ, he would help and guide me during this uncertain time and beyond.
Well, I took redundancy and although my life's path since hasn't always been straight or easy, God has never let down and I've been able to serve him in unexpected and rewarding ways. In the challenging times we are now facing I think these words in St. Paul's Letter to the Romans are re-assuring. God is more powerful than any pandemic and may use it to bring us closer to himself and each other in surprising ways. He longs for our complete love, trust and obedience to bring him glory.
Recently I've been listening to the song 'You Raise Me Up' sung by Josh Groban which I find helpful when I lack confidence.
Father, sometimes we can’t understand how you can bring beauty from the ashes of our lives. We may struggle to trust you with the broken pieces. You say in your Word that without faith it's impossible to please you. Increase our desire to please and trust in you. Make us more like Jesus and use our trials for our good and to bring you glory. Amen
For wisdom, compassion and hope for those who have lost their jobs or have that prospect hanging over them and for managers trying to find ways to retain staff.