On 9 February I went to hear Jonathan Conrathe speak in a church that I had attended from time to time in 1995 when I first left the South of England, at the time I was a newly born again Christian.
Going back to the church reminded me of how I felt at that time 19 years ago when I was broken hearted by my marriage breakdown and first gave my life to Jesus and was born again. I was reminded of how far I have come since that time.
Many of the people I remembered from 1995 were still attending the church and there was a sense of safety because of the familiar, but also a sense of the excitement of God doing a new thing.
As always with God, there were things that were expected, but also a particular surprise. I had originally only intended to go to the morning meeting and then to have lunch out with my friend and her friend, but “I decided” to go to the evening meeting too. I say “I decided”, because there is a sense that God wanted to show me something and that I wouldn’t have seen it if I had just had lunch and come home.
As there was a time period between finishing lunch and going to the evening meeting, my friend (Lynne) and I went to her friend (Sue)’s home. I didn’t previously know where Sue lived but, she has the same name as my sister and she lives at 21 Rhodes Avenue.
I was reminded that in September 1983 I had moved to Kingston upon Thames and the former owners of my home were Dr and Mrs Rhodes and my telephone number ended “0885”. And, I was to find out later that the lady in the house next door to my home was a born again Christian.
As not many people know, but of course God does because He knows everything, I first came to know God in 1985 after having a breakdown caused by attempting to persuade a psychiatrist not to give my sister, Sue, a course of Electro-Convulsive Therapy. At the time my life was one of “work hard, play hard” and I didn’t have the emotional energy needed to argue with the psychiatrist. As a result I was exhausted and booked a last minute holiday with “Small World” to Rhodes where, far from having a holiday, I became even more stressed by the events that happened there and became broken and ended up on a psychiatric ward for a weekend on my return to England.
At the time I was away in Rhodes (08.85), my sister had her 21st birthday. So, when I visited my new friend Sue’s home on 9 February 2014, I was reminded that God was with me in Rhodes on 10 August 1985 (and that He is with my sister, Sue, who is still stuck in the psychiatric system and I believe He has a plan to rescue her, just as He rescued me).
My new friend, Sue, was in the middle of doing a jigsaw puzzle called “The Commission” – the first one of a series of very large jigsaws of Noah’s Ark by Tom Dubois. I have now been told that there is a new film coming to our local cinemas called Noah. I don’t know what exactly God is saying through this, but I do remember that there is a rainbow and a dove at the end of the Noah’s Ark story and those two things bring encouragement just by seeing them.
And, of course, “The Great Commission” that Jesus gave us as Christians was Matthew 28:19-20 (New King James Version (NKJV)) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.