With the weather being so great at the moment, there are plenty of people out on their bikes. A few minutes from our home, there is this small jetty which enables walkers and cyclists to get onto a ferry. When I took this photo above earlier today, the jetty was empty but will probably be a hive of activity right now!
One of the extra joys in coming to live in the Netherlands has been cycling so much (it was very hilly where we used to be in the UK!). So often we are out on our bikes, even if just locally. Of course there have been moments in the city centre where it has been difficult to find the right bike amid all the others. Ever had that experience?
The blue bell on my bike is one of the thing I always look for:
Particularly in the sunshine, the bell is really bright.
This being said, the other day I was at the shops, but after finishing I totally forgot I had taken my bike. It was only about three hours later, on feeling my bike key in one of my pockets, that I had the revelation that my bike was still tied up near the supermarket!
One bike – forgotten!
Forgotten? Does it ever seem like you are forgotten? Even by God? Or that He has forgotten our world when we look at the news? The various attacks in Bavaria in the past couple of weeks for instance may have caused some to question if there is a God, does He care? (For those reading this who are open for praying, please do pray for all those caught up by these events)
These are big questions and it would take a very long post to try and even to begin to address these and all the connected issues. So I am not going to attempt to try here. Rather, I ask us all what is our answer? Has God forgotten us? Has He forgotten our world?
One of the New Testament writers , quoting from the book of Joshua, declares God saying, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)
The author goes onto write, So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid…” (Hebrews 13:6)
These verses and many others declare that you and I are not forgotten!
In our ever changing world, do we have such confidence? If not, who can we be honest with about it? If we do have such confidence, how is it impacting the way we see life? Who else could we come alongside and encourage?
I have had times when it seemed like ‘heaven is silent’. Ever had times where you have cried out to God but it seems no one is listening? If yes, I am with you on that, I have been there. May be that is where you are at right now. If so, can I encourage you to talk with someone about it.
Working through grief about my mum passing away last year has included some tough moments. It still does! Truth from the Bible that proclaims God’s love, grace and His faithfulness has been a big help. But so also were other people coming alongside to listen, to journey, to encourage and to be there. Not forgotten!
In the book of Job, the ‘three friends’ did well in being with him and not saying a word, “because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:13). It started going wrong when they opened their mouths and started ‘theologising’ about Job’s circumstances!
I am not suggesting that we never say anything to a friend or other person whom we know who is suffering. In fact all too often people shy away from someone who is grieving. Why? Because they do not know what to say to him or her! Let’s not shy away (and as an aside there are good articles online about how to ‘be there’ for someone who is grieving).
Many people can feel abandoned and ‘unseen’ whether due to grief or other things like shame or guilt or something that has happened to them.
It could even be one of your colleagues, fellow students, neighbours or family members you will speak with this week. Perhaps they are doing their best to hide it but inside there is a crying out to be ‘known’ and have a sense of belonging. Of not being forgotten!
Who can you and I reach out to even in these coming summer weeks? To let them know, they are not forgotten! To even be able to express something of the love of God who also does not forget – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you!”