“the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”Robert Burns; ‘To a Mouse’
This year, many plans are going awry, because of the current crisis with Covid 19. The plans that were made for Messy Church to celebrate Easter, plans afoot for Pentecost at the end of May, holiday plans, those who would have been sitting exams, church gatherings, meetings, groups of friends meeting to celebrate birthdays, weddings, to mark funerals. Everything is changed; we see, in the nightly briefing from the Government, that they are changing their stance on things as the evidence and situation changes. Their best laid plans seem to have to change very quickly according to what is happening to the country.
But what plans can we make for the future? What should we be doing? As I write to you, we don’t know how long it will be until we are able to meet face to face in the church buildings again. I want to pause here and express my thanks to all of those of our congregation who have worked so hard to make the technological side of things work, so that we can still meet via YouTube or Facebook each Sunday morning.
Some of us don’t know if we will have jobs to go back to, others don’t know if there will be college places for them, still others don’t know what all this means for house moves, weddings etc.
What do we know though? These words from the Bible may have a resonance with you today:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”Jeremiah 29:11-12
- We know that our Father God already has the plans for our future in his hands.
- We know that they are plans that will ultimately prosper us, not harm us.
- We know that they are plans to give us hope and a future with him.
So rather than focussing on the negative, rather than focussing on the things we cannot do at this time, let us instead do as v12 says, and come and pray to our Father God. Pray for ourselves, pray for those around us, pray for the people suffering far more than we are at the present time. Pray that people would hear of the love of God, even during this time, and would respond to that love.
We are promised that whenever we pray, God will listen to our prayers.
The promise that we need to keep hold of in times of uncertainty is that God already knows what is happening, that he only ever wants what is best for us. All we need to do is to pray, listen, follow, and obey him.
Let’s keep praying!