Pam's Paper Blog - March 2017

posted 27 Mar 2017, 11:22 by Richard Jones   [ updated 27 Mar 2017, 11:22 ]

Pam’s Paper Blog: 

Dear Friends,

In the month of March and we start thinking about spring and Mothering Sunday so our minds turn to family life. Families are the groups that God places all of us in for love and support through good times and bad. You can tell the strength of a family by how they deal with the difficulties we all face in life.

It’s when things go wrong we find ourselves asking those ‘What if?’ and ‘Why me?’ questions. We naturally wonder if we could have changed things; What if I’d done something different would these difficulties have been avoided? This can be very useful if it helps us learn from our mistakes but it can also be very debilitating if we’re dealing with things we cannot change like an illness or a death. So is it’s cousin, that Why has this happened to me? thought that make us feel singled out unfairly and keeps us hugging our hurts.

When things are going well and happiness seems ours it’s easy to believe in a loving God that cares for us. But when things are going badly it’s easy to believe God doesn’t care or has abandoned us all together. Or worse still, we stop believing there is a God at all. That’s when we need the love and support of our family, particularly our Christian family.

Sometimes we can have a genie view of God; that we rub our magic prayer book and he’ll grant us three wishes to spare us all troubles. That when danger comes he sends his magic carpet to whisk us off to safety.  But if God did make all Christians free of trouble all their lives then what use would they be to mankind? It’s only through dealing with our own troubles that we have any understanding of what others are going through in theirs and to be able to offer support.

This is why Mothering Sunday fits so snugly into Lent; the time we use to prepare ourselves for the festival of Easter. It’s at Easter that Jesus gives us his example of how he uses his innocent suffering for the benefit of those who put their trust in him. Now he is always there with us, in good times and in bad; part of our joy and sharer of our pain just like our physical family.

Perhaps a more useful question for us to get to when things are going wrong is ‘What next?’ We cannot change the past, we can only use it to make things better, usually for somebody else. It’s often as we reach out to help others that we find ourselves being healed along the way. So this Lent consider not giving things up but taking things on. Think about some small thing you can do to help another. You could babysit or visit an elderly neighbour or offer a friend a lift; simple things. Sometimes you can do a great deal with a simple smile and word of encouragement. If you want to be really serious about it then have a look at the 40 acts website for ideas.

Let’s make a real difference in Lent this year,

 Pam Daunton