Message – “Blessed be your Name in a Land that is Plentiful”
“If you think you are too small to make difference, try sleeping with a mosquito!” Dalia Lama.
My initial “pause for thought” was going to be about Captain Tom and his amazing achievements for the wonderful NHS and a reminder that we can all do our part and make a difference (like the mosquito!). But then it started to rain and I needed my umbrella to go out and as I got to work the previous happy smiling faces that had greeted me on the sunny days looked much gloomier and suddenly things seemed tougher and not as easy as they had previously seemed. Again, like the mosquito, a small change had made a huge difference.
I pondered on the lovely things that came with rain and chatted with the children in school, who clearly loved splashing in puddles. But there was no way round the fact that rain was having a detrimental effect on the way people were feeling in the current situation.
After the long winter, spring brings both sunshine and showers; the temperature warms up from the cold of the winter and, as it does, the plants around us begin to grow once again.
Plants don’t just need sunshine to grow; they also need rain, which is where April showers come in. Although we might prefer the rain to stop, it is actually doing a very important job.
Plants grow in both sunshine and rain can be a helpful reminder to us. The sunshiny days make us feel good; they warm us up and the sun often puts a smile on our faces. When we have sunshiny days, we feel good about ourselves; perhaps we feel like we can take on anything or we feel good about who we are. We feel warm and happy on the inside as well as on the outside.
However, some days are not sunshiny. There are rainy days too; days when things are more challenging. Perhaps we find our work hard or something else makes us feel low. These are our ‘April shower days’. Many are feeling this at the moment during our Lockdown weeks (and months). Many are feeling low, down in the dumps, lonely, sad – a whole range of muddled up feelings. Questions of when will it end are being asked and the isolation for many can be soul destroying. And yet there are still amazing things happening in our world and changes that could make the world a far better place in the long run.
Like the flowers, we need both sunshine and rain to help us grow. We need days when life is more challenging as well as days when things feel good and easy. Instead of feeling down about the rainy days in our lives, it can be helpful to picture those spring flowers and remember what they had to experience in order to grow. They needed sunshine and rain together: both are important.
Perseverance means sticking at something and not giving up. We show perseverance when we continue to do something that we find tricky. Like the flowers that grow through rainy days, we can achieve many things if we don’t give up and persevere. And we need to remember that we have each other to encourage and care and carry.
The Bible has something to say about perseverance, too. In the Book of Romans Paul wrote to encourage the followers of Jesus in Rome. In the letter, he writes, ‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’
Difficult times can help us to learn perseverance. Then, like a flower blooming, we grow and become even more amazing! Springtime flowers can remind us of the hope that this Bible passage mentions.
I am so privileged as a key worker to be able to be still seeing others and it also means that I can help others too, which is an amazing thing. Let’s take some time to be quiet for a moment and think about some of the difficult things that we may be facing at the moment… And…
Let’s remember that we never need to suffer or feel sad on our own.
Let’s remember that we can always talk about anything that we might be facing.
Let’s also remember that perseverance is important; if we can press on, we can all grow.
Thank you for springtime and sunshiny days of fun.
Thank you for the April showers that help the plants to grow.
Thank you for the way in which we are growing, too.
Please help us to continue to grow through both easy sunshiny days and tougher rainy days. Amen.
God Bless you all,