It’s all a bit religious here at Hargreaves’ Towers this week so don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you don’t fancy it don’t worry. It’s not been the easiest week as you can imagine. I won’t dwell too much on how it’s been for us to send away the Fruit of Womb One – you can probably work that out for yourselves. How people go on who send their children off to war, I just don’t know. I don’t suppose it’s much like Downton Abbey where the bloke with the see-through eyes seems to get every weekend off the trenches to come home and do a bit of singing. Actually, that’s not very fair of me because I don’t watch it. I’ve seen a bit but the adverts were doing my head in.
I have been thinking about the way we feel about our children. The way they are always in our thoughts and prayers. And then I was thinking that that is how we say God feels about us because he is our Father. But I don’t think we act that way. I have to tell you that I spend too much time thinking that God will get bored of my continual moaning and lack of anything constructive to offer and that he will go and find someone more interesting. Billy Graham or Cliff or someone.
It’s only when I think about how I feel about my own kids. How they are constantly in my thoughts, how all I have is theirs and how ridiculously proud I am of them. Then maybe – just maybe, I begin to get a flavour of how God feels about me. Not everyone can relate to this of course and people’s relationships with loved ones don’t always mirror what God would like it to. But sometimes we really need to get hold of how God feels about us and how we are never far from his thoughts.
Some time ago Head of House and myself were really needing an answer to prayer. We decided that we would fast one day a week until God answered. Nothing happened. Not a sausage. Then reading Bill Hybels book – “Too Busy Not to Pray” I noticed the way he approached his prayer. He said (to paraphrase) How insulted would you feel as a parent if, when your child asked you for something, they felt that they had to go away and punish themselves in some way to get your attention? Either you are on his heart or you are not. We have to get on board with the fact that God is constantly attentive, constantly in touch and constantly tender hearted towards us. We may struggle with this, either because of our life experience or perhaps in some weird way because we feel it diminishes God but what we feel about it isn’t so important. It’s how God is. We can enjoy it and respond to this offer of undeserved favour or we can get the flagellator and the barbed wire knickers out and make ourselves suffer in an attempt to curry God’s favour. (N.B this is not having a go at fasting – just at fasting as a way of repositioning ourselves as “worthy” Christians – Don’t write in)
It is a constant struggle for me to get past what God gives me and what I have actually deserved. Sometimes circumstances make us all feel that God has taken a package tour to someone more deserving where he can commune with someone who has managed to move mountains and harvest white fields and all that sort of thing. Trouble is God says otherwise.
14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me
I just wanted to show you something about rembering. This is Christian the lion. Christian was bought by two blokes from harrods of all places in the 60s. Obvs he became too big and was returned to Africa. When the chaps went back to see him the following scene took place. If you have tears – prepare to shed them…
There is something about care and love that creates even the most unlikely bonds.