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Don’t Look To The Sky

“They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  Men of Galilee they said, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:10 - 11

I am sure that many of you have had days during this lockdown period as well as at other times of your life where you pray “Lord, what is going on? Where are you in all of this?”

On Friday, I had two phone messages that made me feel quite sad about our current situation. Nothing majorly life changing, but the first was to say that my daughter’s prom dress was now ready for collection.  This was the dress we ordered for the prom which was supposed to be last week.  The prom that all the year 11's look forward to during that final year of hard work. The prom now postponed, possibly cancelled.  Secondly, I had a message from the small pet holiday home to say that they were hoping to open on the 4th July.  Good news you might think, except we had booked our Guinea pigs in so we could go to new wine; also now cancelled.

I don’t know if you’ve spent the last few months, gradually watching your calendar get quieter and quieter.  The weekends when you would have been going to that wedding, celebrating that birthday, going on the theatre trip all passing without being able to do those things you had looked forward to.

As I opened my bible on Friday, I felt God say to me “why do you stand here looking at the sky?” Why are you still looking at what might have been?  Instead, start looking forward and asking God “ok, slight change of plan, so what next?”  What opportunities has this situation now created? Life is certainly different, what have we gained during this time?  

God will  heal our land. Maybe we should be reminding ourselves of some of his promises to us.  He is faithful, He is just and he does have a plan.  A plan for now, and a plan for our future.  

Some of us have suffered terribly and lost a lot in the last few months, and yes, we do need time to mourn and to grieve, that is part of the healing process.  But we also need to press into our future.

I don’t know whether you remember the old song, “He’s turned my mourning into dancing again, he’s lifted my sorrow.”  I always struggled with this one.  It certainly doesn’t come easily to shelve all our worries and start dancing with joy.  There is a time for mourning, but sometimes God calls us to dance even when we are still mourning.  He calls us to look forward even when we feel sad, and grieve the past.

So what next?  Maybe that should be our prayer.  What next Lord? What’s your plan? What opportunities have we now been given which we never had before?  I believe that sometimes God strips us of all our expectations, all our desires, because then he has a blank canvas to work from.  When we are empty, then he has so much more room to fill us.  When we are focussed on him, with less distractions, less of our own plans, how much more he can do with us.

So maybe this next week, don’t look at the sky, but “fix your eyes on Jesus” and rejoice in the great and amazing plans he has for your life.

Written by Lisa Cook


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