The last few weeks have been interesting. And when I say interesting, I mean challenging. And when I say challenging, I mean hard!
A couple of weeks back it was the anniversary of my friend Glenn’s murder, and I was very conscious of how the family would be feeling. There were lots of reminders, and while I’m not one to be overly sentimental, I do recognise that I’m called to weep with those who weep, and mourn with those who mourn. So that was hard.
Also, these last couple of weeks have revealed how much the boys are still working through. They miss their Grandma. There are other family things that they’ve had to work through too, it’s been quite a year for us all with lots of things to deal with, and you realise how much more for them at their age. It’s a lot to deal with at any age! They are dealing with things they’ve never had to before, in a way they’ve never had to before. Anger, upset, disappointment, constant reminders of numerous situations outside of their control. And as a Dad, that’s hard as you help them navigate through these situations. When they are feeling things but don’t know why they are feeling them, or why these things make them act in a certain way, it’s hard. This weeping with those who weep has been a big thing the last few months!
But I’m thankful that the Father has revealed Jesus as the Bread of Life in me.
Now one thing I know is that Jesus the Bread of Life is always received by faith. But I’ve learnt that sometimes when receiving Jesus the Bread of Life, he comes with feelings, i.e. how I feel inside and sometimes physically confirms my receiving of him. When things are good and the pressures aren’t there then it seems easier to receive Jesus, doesn’t it?
But when things are pressured, keeping you awake at night or waking you early in the morning, when you are distracted from that wonderful sweet communion with Jesus by “stuff”, well, I’ve learnt that it’s at these times that Jesus the Bread of Life becomes very real. It’s at these times that he is received by faith and not by feelings. This requires an incredible amount of trust in a Father who desires to give the very best to his children, who gives our Daily Bread as we ask him to, today.
And there is little we can do to change the feelings we might have! These are times when we are to be quiet, still, and to trust that the Father is giving the Bread of Life today, just as he does every day. Regardless of how I feel.
But there is one thing that helps though.
The last couple of days I’ve had the word “mindful” in my thoughts. That as he is constantly mindful of us, we too must seek to be mindful of Christ in us. This isn’t mindfulness based on feelings. It’s mindfulness based on faith. It’s a choice to “set the mind” on Christ in us, regardless of what our feelings might be saying. And so that’s what I’ve been doing the last few days, being mindful of Christ in me. Putting everything else to one side and focusing my mind on him and by faith receiving Jesus as the Bread of Life.
And it’s amazing what can happen when we are mindful of him in us, and how Jesus in us will draw people to himself!
A couple of months back my youngest boy and I were in Morrison’s Aldershot doing a quick bit of shopping one Saturday evening. We came across two children in the store whose Mum had fallen and split her head open. The staff were attending her, blood everywhere, the parademics had been called and she was in a bad way. The children were freaking out. So two women and I stayed with the children and talked to them and calmed them down. We tried to contact their Dad with no success, even calling the Police to see if they could reach him.
Eventually we managed to get into the woman’s phone and find a number for her parents, called them and they came and collected the children. A half an hour shop ended up being two hours long!
But here’s the thing. Those children and that family have been in mind since then. I’ve wondered how the Mum was. None of us knew where she was being taken by the ambulance. I hoped everything worked out well and that she was fine.
This morning, I was due to meet someone at The Well (that one at the land of the Golden Arches), but they didn’t turn up. I was about to move on when I thought I would just check where the exchange bureau is in Farnborough, as I couldn’t remember and I needed to take the boys down there later.
As I’m walking out of one shopping centre toward the other, I see a guy and two children walking toward me. It’s the two children from Morrison’s in Aldershot. So I stop them and talk to the guy, asking him what happened, how his wife is, asking the children how they are. It was great to speak with them and he took my name and said he would tell his wife that we had met.
And on the way back Father speaks to me and says this.
“You say, ‘What are the chances of meeting those people again?’ I say they are high if you understand my bigness. I can cause people to be drawn to Christ in you anytime, anywhere, any place. If you could see this world as I see it, it’s a very small world! You would understand that what seems impossible to you isn’t to me if you just remain mindful of Christ in you.”
So I’m trying to be mindful and have the view that “It’s a small world!”
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. As he is mindful of us, so let us be mindful of him.