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Posts Tagged ‘C.H. Spurgeon’

Treatment 2/18 today and no problems. Same staff, minimal delay, fish more relaxed.

Retail therapy on the way home.

I could get used to this. I could congratulate myself on coping well with the outer journey. And you might look on and say “Isn’t she strong!”

Well of course I am . . . until I am not.

Now that the physical suffering of chemotherapy is fading, the inner journey takes my attention. And the main driver is fear.

Who would’nt be fearful when you are told you have cancer?

C.H. Spurgeon, commenting on Psalm 119 when King David pleaded with God for deliverance from his troubles, wrote:

He who has been with God in the closet will find God with him in the furnace

If we expect to recognise God’s presence with us when we are in trouble, we need to have spent time getting to know him when things are going well. In fact, we need to set aside time to make sure we know HIM and not some teddy-bear God we construct to suit our needs.

I am learning a lot about anxiety and fear – what they mean to me and how to manage them.

My radiotherapy treatment is all about adding years to my life. With this in mind, what Jesus says about worry hits home

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life . . .  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?

Clearly worry is not a constructive part of my treatment plan.

Jeremiah spoke of God’s compassion and faithfulness, in the midst of his severe suffering. He had a very mature knowledge and experience of God. I can learn a lot from him.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Both passages refer to God’s love and provision being given one day at a time, fresh for the day’s needs and not to be stored in advance.

Now we do need to plan ahead for business, for agriculture, for education etc.

This challenge is about the stuff we construct and then worry about – the what if’ scenarios. You can reflect on your own what if’ scenarios, or you can imagine what mine might be in relation to cancer.

We want tomorrow’s blessings today. We want to store up certainty today so that we do not need to worry tomorrow. And yet chances are we will worry again tomorrow about the next day.

God says trust me for today’s resources today and tomorrow’s resources tomorrow.

Maybe your worry is not about the length of your life – but there is a principle here that covers worry in general.

I can see the benefit of going to bed ’empty’ and yet free from worry, knowing that in the morning God will fill me up again. To do this I need to spend time in the closet getting to know the God that Jesus shows me and learning to trust him.

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Our day had a clear theme from start to finish – STUFF HAPPENS

Thought for the day on the radio at 7.45 launched the theme – bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Our beliefs and expectations for life are constantly challenged.

BC and I heard this as we travelled by car to the reunion of Spurgeon’s Scholars – people who were brought up in Spurgeon’s orphanages. BC has supported Spurgeons for many years and offered to help out at today’s event.

What an inspiring place to be.

C. H. Spurgeon (1834-92) was England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. Within 4 years of his conversion to christianity at age 15 he was preaching to audiences of over 10,000. Money poured in to support his ministry. He used this to set up homes for needy children.

So there we were among 100 men and women who had grown up in an ‘orphanage’. One woman’s father died when he was working on the Ugandan railway. Her mother had to make her way back to UK with her four young children and find some way to earn a living – unable to meet the needs of her family. This ex scholar spoke of how happy her time at Spurgeon’s was – never bored, never hungry, always well fed and well dressed. And she also spoke with tears in her eyes of how becoming a mother herself helped her realise what letting go of her children had meant to her mother. She had always wondered why her mother did not look back when she left her at the orphanage. And she spoke of how lucky she was to have known the security of her Spurgeon’s childhood.

Another man was rescued from an abusive family. For years he stayed in a corner at Spurgeons, not speaking and not participating. He gradually learned to trust others and now has a successful career and secure marriage. His comment was that he praised God for the fresh start the home had given him.

BC and I drove home feeling deeply moved at how effective and significant C.H. Spurgeon’s vision to support the young had been.

And, to top off the day, we chanced on Gareth Malone’s programme about giving young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to sing opera with him at Glyndebourne. The Times reports this as “One of the most enthralling, informative and uplifting reality series yet made”.

I wept as I watched. Gareth is taking young people who have a tough start in life with no self-confidence and little opportunity to better themselves. He is giving them a chance to explore their own gifts and talents. His belief in them is moving and inspiring. But not all respond to the gift he offers.

Yes, stuff happens in our lives . . . and yet . . . if we turn our focus towards what we can do with what we have now, who knows what we can achieve in our own lives and in the lives of those around us?

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