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July: Shaken and Stirred

It’s been an astonishing two weeks:

  • The electorate voted to leave the EU and the Prime Minister resigned.
  • Scotland voted to stay in the EU and the First Minister announced she was ‘working to secure Scotland’s place in the EU.’
  • The government has gone into caretaking mode as different people vie to be in the next Prime Minister.
  • The opposition, instead of making hay while the sun shines, has engaged in civil war.

Not surprisingly it has left us feeling not just shaken but also stirred. Someone has thrown all the balls up in the air, and when they came down instead of being caught they’ve been left to bounce all over the place.  No one has any idea where they will come to rest, or when that will be.

It is all horribly unpredictable. We wonder about our identity. At the moment we combine elements of being Scottish, British and European. What will we be when it all ends?  We wonder about the economy and what that means for jobs and businesses, and the knock on effect on health, education and other public services.  We wonder about future peace and cooperation in an already divided world.

If we feel worried and unsettled, it’s not in the least strange.  Stability and predictably can be seen as dull and boring.  They are not. They provide a foundation that allows people to be bold and adventurous.

A great deal of the Bible was written by people living through tumultuous times.  Psalm 121 is one example. The writer feeling uneasy and unsure, asked, ‘Where does my help come from?’  From the hills, that part of our world that stays solid and unchanging when everything else moves?

No, ‘My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.’

In a world full of flux and turbulence, the Psalmist speaks of God as his anchor. It’s not that God makes everything miraculously calm.  It’s not that God stops the storms that buffet. It is that God is there in the midst of the upheaval. It is that God’s presence guides. It is that the Psalmist knows that security and hope lie in God and not in the material things of this life.  

So the Psalm says confidently
The Lord watches over you –
the Lord is your share at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The turbulence will last certainly for months for years. During this time you might like to make Psalm 121 your prayer.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains –201607
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip –
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you –
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm –
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and for evermore.


To see other messages from Neil, click on the appropriate month in the table below.

July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017
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