Monday 14 September

'Thought for the Week' from April Gold

"Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long."  Exodus 14 19- 20

Exodus 14 tells us that as the Israelites reach the sea and begin to panic the pillar of cloud and fire moves. It sits behind them to protect. This resonates with our current situation. When we have been still, considered the options and prayerfully created a plan, we need to trust God and step out, knowing that he has our backs. The Israelites did not know what they were going to find on the other side of the sea, but they trusted in a God who had called them and had demonstrated his love for them in great signs and wonders.

This rhythm of being still whilst we ask, listen and plan, and then walking confidently forward trusting that God has our backs is, for me, a Christian discipline. It is very easy to never get out of the asking and planning phase and to be overly anxious about everything that could go wrong. Instead we have to trust in the plan, that God will have our backs, and walk forwards.

Of course we don’t have clouds and pillars of fire. BUT we do have a saviour who died and rose again to intercede on our behalf and his Spirit dwells within us to strengthen us. Even if we hear incorrectly and our plans are not as godly as they could be, we can trust in Paul’s assertion in Romans 8 that “God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose” and that “If God is for us who can be against us?”.

April Gold is the new Diocesan Director of Education

As mentioned on Friday, a Thought for the Week will be published each Monday.

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National guidance from the Church of England

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We are expecting the Church of England to update its guidance during the next few days.