Monday, October 13, 2008

Further than the moon.

I used to lie in bed as a kid and pray that God would hold my hand. I remember doing this often as a child. I went to sleep praying and stretching out my hand to see if God would grab it. (I probably would have wet my pants if He did!)

He never did grab my hand, and I never stopped believing that He was real either.

At different times in our lives, our need for God increases within the different circumstances we find ourselves in. And He responds.

Several years ago I was doing a Teacher Aide Certificate. I did my training with a wonderful class of 7 and 8 year olds, and a class teacher who went beyond her job for those kids. At that time my mother was terminally ill and there were days when I went to school, that I wished I could rather be at home with her.

During those many years of illness, I learnt how to put on a brave face, slap on a genuine smile, and just do life no matter how bad she was. I still battled through fear and lonliness in that time, and while God knew it all, not many others did.

I remember a week which seemed harder than the others, but I took myself off to school to do my training. Being in a classroom with very vibrant children doesn't leave you any free headspace to get down, so I figured I'd made the right choice to continue my study.

The days progressed as normal. Children being rebellious, teacher being overworked, activities, stories, school assemblies, lunch breaks, reading time, then God broke into my world....

I suddenly felt His arms around me in the form of a 7 year old boy. Ben was his name and I will never forget him. That week he continued to give me hugs. He would come up behind me when I'd least expect him to and wrap his small little 7 year old arms around me and tell me that he loved me.

It makes me tear up even now that I think about it. I believe God used Ben during that week, to let me know that He was there. Ben didn't know what my family was going through. And some would say that he was just being a typical 7 year old boy who had a crush on the Teacher Aide. But for me, Ben's arms were God's arms and the timing was critical. And with my love language being 'touch' I really needed a hug from God - and He gave me those hugs!

"Sometimes you're further than the moon
Sometimes you're closer than my skin
You surround me like a winter fog
You've come and burned me with a kiss"

~Martin Smith, Delirious

God will never leave us or forsake us. And sometimes He will use those around us to show us just how much He loves us. So I encourage you today, if you're going through a hard time, don't dismiss a kind word, an act of love, or even a hug from a child. It may be God trying to show you His love.

Thank you Ben.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Yesterday I stubbed my toe on the edge of the washing machine. I rolled a vacuum cleaner over my foot. I hit my head on a shelf in a cupboard. And I nearly knocked over a very expensive looking china bowl from a table.

Why? Because I was tired.

When I am tired I get clumsly. This includes my speech which when I'm trying to explain something to someone it come's out slurry and all muddled up (or 'puddled mup' if you're me on a tired day).

I also find myself zoning out of conversations and I end up saying 'yes' to questions that don't require a 'yes' or 'no' for an answer! Now this venture can get someone into trouble, so I do not reccomend zoning out of conversations if you can help it.

I can also tend to get a little forgetful. Sometimes birthdays go amiss until the next day when I realise what I've done and try to make amends!

How are you when you're tired?

I guess my point here is, that when we are tired we are a lot more vulnerable. Some of us get 'short' with eachother. A nice friendly person such as yourself can easily turn into a grumpy bum. And if you're married or live at home with a family member or two, tiredness can turn NASTY.

I love the verse which says,

"Don't grow weary in doing well, for in due time you will reap your reward."

I've come to realise that not only can we get weary but we can get used to being tired and actually allow it to grow. Don't grow weary in doing well. It can be 'normal' for some of us to always be in a state of weariness, and this is NOT what God wants for our lives.

That's why there is a Sabbath day. And hey if God rested on the seventh day, how much more do we need to. Now a Sabbath day for me, isn't a Sunday. I work in the ministry on a Sunday, so my Sabbath is a Saturday. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, so pick a day which is just for you, where you can just relax, 'play', or recreate, or kill a chicken, whatever it is that charges your batteries.

Some good advice a friend often tells people is to ask yourself these questions when life seems to be getting too full on:

How is my relationship with God?

Am I eating well?

Am I sleeping well?

Very good questions to be asking yourself. If one of these areas is out of balance, chances are you will be tired in an area, whether it is spiritually, emotionally or physically.

So take a break! (kit-kats help :)