I remember a time about 3 or 4 years ago when I had a great feeling of what I now describe as loneliness. I felt distant from God and other people and while I was incredibly busy do many things, much of what I was doing felt somewhat empty. Coupled with a great uncertainty about the future of my life I was not in a great place spiritually or emotionally.
I’d been running SACREdplace, the Christian Bookshop in St Austell for 2 or 3 years and while it had been a dream come true to have that job, finances in particular were struggling and the pressure was taking it’s toll on me.
Looking back, it was around that time that deep down I began to realise that God was going to call me to leave the shop and on to pastures new, but while I say I began to realise it, it was so deep down I couldn’t grasp hold of it. I was still feeling lost. I remember daily on my walk to work passing same azalea rain or shine and praying, ‘Where are you Lord, I can’t feel you. I feel like a fool. I feel false when I preach and lead things, I feel incomplete, un-holy.’
One day I was sat at my desk, those similar thoughts and prayers going around my mind and for a moment I looked up and took notice of the picture frame that sat on my office window. A number of years before I had design a number of Bible texted pictures and this was one of them, quoting Romans 8:39 (below). As I read those words a new sense of peace came over me. It was a verse I saw almost daily, yet didn’t truly see until now. The struggles and feelings of loneliness didn’t disappear, but I did feel a renewed strength to deal with them, knowing however I feel, nothing can separate me from God’s love.
I’ve been thinking about that this week because a friend gave me these verses only a few days ago, reminding me of the picture…
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39, NIV UK
Reading those verses again it’s been a reminder of just how far God has lead me over these few short years. As I and my family prepare to move to Birmingham and I begin training for full time ministry there are so many things to think about, organise, work out and at times worry about. But in and through it all, I am comforted and strengthened in the knowledge that nothing can separate me and my family from the love of God.
I hope you can be strengthened and comforted by that too.