God is not helpless among the ruins

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

These days as the Olympics are taking place in Japan, I am reminded of another of my heroes of the faith, the Scottish Eric Liddell. Some of you may be familiar with the award-winning movie Chariots of Fire, which depicted Liddell’s life, including his participation in some of the track events for Great Britain at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. The movie also portrays his running as an extension of his faith and he claimed that when he ran he could “feel God’s pleasure”.

“And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within.“ This power that Liddell experienced and which carried him through the arduous training for the Olympics is also what carried him as he returned to China as a missionary and later as well, as he was confined to a Japanese internment camp where he died in 1945 of a brain tumor. Here Liddell could have concluded that these circumstances wrecked his life, but the evidence is to the contrary. Up until the day he died, he was working hard to encourage, teaching the Bible, practicing forgiveness towards his captors and rising above the walls of imprisonment with grace and love.

Without exception we have all had our plans waylaid this past year. The team I work together with at Caritas had a retreat day last week and one of the activities was to reflect on how the past sixteen months has affected our lives. We had to write our reflections anonymously on scraps of paper which were then laid out across the grass outside. What emerged is that everyone had suffered some loss or at least a curtailing of plans and intentions – some had lost a parent, others had suffered from loneliness, others hated the isolation brought on by working from home or not having any social contacts.

My hope and prayer for all of us is that we could recognize that God is still at work, even when we cannot see it, even when we may have felt temporarily abandoned or alone or in the midst of unbearable events or losses.

There’s a grace when the heart is under fire
Another way when the walls are closing in
And when I look at the space between
Where I used to be and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone
There was another in the fire
Standing next to me

from the song ‘Another in the fire’
Hillsong United

Dear Lord,

Help me to know today that you are not helpless in the ruins of this world or even in the ruins of my life.
Please take what I have to offer and make my life into something beautiful.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Image by az quotes

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