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Monday, 20 April 2015

This Is Not the End



The last few weeks have been tough. Grieving friends, sick kids, disappointments, words that hurt, and circumstances far beyond my control – all compounded by that perpetual tiredness that just sits there, making everything seem so much worse than it probably is.

Joy seems hard to reach, people are hard to love, and my faith gets shaky.

But there is always hope.

Sometimes it’s a fire inside me – a cozy place to snuggle beside and savour dreams. Sometimes it’s small – the wavering single flame of a candle barely even strong enough to shed light. And sometimes, it’s barely even visible – a tiny flicker, so small I can’t even find it until someone else points it out.

But it’s always there, because God is.

And not just any God, but the one who cares, the one who can do the impossible.

I read a quote a few months ago which said this:

“In the end, God wins. If God hasn’t won, it’s not the end.” (Unknown)

I love that.

I have hope because I know that no matter how tough a situation may seem, it’s not the end. God is still working. And God is still winning.

There is hope, because there is God.
 
For those of you going through tough times at the moment, know that I'm praying for you. For courage, for faith, that you would know God's love and comfort, but mostly that you would know hope. You are not alone, you are not forgotten.
 
And this is not the end.

 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Where Cinderella Meets the Cross





There’s a lot of hype around at the moment about Cinderella. I haven’t seen the latest movie yet but it’s on the calendar for next week. I’m going to see it with my little sister and am sooooo excited!!

Like most romantics, I love a good Cinderella story. There have been lots of adaptations of the story over the years – books and movies (I know, I own most of them!) – but one I’ve always loved is the movie Ever After. It’s funny, sweet, totally romantic, and there’s one line in it that gets me every time. It’s at the end, when the Countess (Cinderella’s stepmother) is brought before the king and queen to explain her actions.

There she is, kneeling on the floor, condemned before king, queen and court hoping in vain that someone will bail her out. And it seems like no one is going to. She certainly doesn’t deserve it with the way she’s acted.

But then someone does. A voice comes from the back of the room, confident and sure. “I will speak for her.”

Perhaps it was because I’d been thinking about the concept of Jesus being our ransom just before I watched it the last time but I suddenly saw myself in that Countess – kneeling there, condemned, knowing there was no excuse good enough and no one to save me.

But then, someone did.

I finished the movie and came back to my room and wrote the following. It’s a picture that’s stayed with me as I’ve celebrated this Easter.  Maybe it’ll mean something to you too.

Alone I stand, condemned to die.
The faces around me stare –  
Some in compassion,
Some in condemnation.
Not one can help me.
Not one can change this course
I have set for my own life.
The judge is fair
I deserve the sentence.
There is no alternative
I must die.

Ashamed, I hang my head
Only to hear a voice behind me
Ringing clear and true in the silence.
“I will speak for her,
I will take her place.”

Before I even understand what is happening
My chains are gone from my hands
And securely wrapped around his.
“It is done,” the judge declares.
I look to my Saviour expecting to see
Condemnation in his eyes,
Resignation at the very least.
But I see neither.
Only overwhelming love
For me, the one who should have died.

As he is led away, I drop to my knees
Bound by something far stronger than chains –
Gratitude.
He paid the price I should have paid.
He took my place.
And my life is forever changed.