March 2020

You Are Not Alone
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

During this unprecedented time as we face many unknowns, it is reassuring for us to know that we are not alone. I believe God can speak to us in deeper and more meaningful ways during times of uncertainty, especially when we find ourselves having to take time to step back, think, pray and listen. We know from the life of Jesus that He frequently chose to remove himself from people to pray (Luke 5:16). Many will not have chosen to minimise social contact in this time and it is important now more than ever that we keep in contact via phone, Skype or FaceTime to encourage our friends, family and those in our community in whatever way we can. As a church, we are still connecting regularly through some of the mediums mentioned and are reaching out to practically help those in need as much as we can.

I was recently very encouraged by the words of an old hymn which, in its last verse,
underlines that God does want to communicate and He can often be heard most clearly in those quiet spaces. The last two lines refer to the story of Elijah in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings Chapter 19. Elijah, literally on the run in fear for his life, is led into a time of prolonged isolation, distancing himself from any human contact (around 6 weeks if my maths is correct). God speaks to him through the ‘still small whisper’ as 1 Kings 19:12 says. These are the words of the hymn. I hope they encourage you as much as they did me:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,

where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

– John Greenleaf Whittier

If you do find yourself in an isolated, lonely or fearful place, please do reach out to us here at LBC. We would love the opportunity to support you in every way we can at this time. Let us listen to that voice of hope – we are not alone!