By Faith Ford, St Peter’s and St James

‘The Sovereign Lord, the holy God of Israel, says to the people, “Come back and quietly trust in me. Then you will be strong and secure”…’
(Isaiah 30:15)

Thought for the day:

Another translation of this verse states, ‘in quietness and trust is your strength’ and it is another verse to which I have returned many times, when I feel my life has been out of balance, or I am feeling overwhelmed. It directs me to quieten myself and to place my trust in God once more, to find his strength and solace.

Advent is the perfect time to return to God and to place our trust in him, especially after a period of repentance when our hearts are more open to hearing God’s quiet voice, sometimes just a whisper, within us. For he is the only source of real security in our lives. In his company we become stronger spiritually and more aware of his guidance and protection. Again this is something that cannot be rushed. We must stay with the Lord even though all our human instincts are to rush around preparing for Christmas – writing cards and wrapping gifts, and buying great quantities of food.

Quietly returning to God and trusting in him is the best preparation we can do if we are to greet our Saviour properly on Christmas Day. There are, of course, many key workers who are unable to rest due to the pressures of lockdown and work; many of them are having to work longer hours and are very tired at the end of long shifts. We should pray for them that God will strengthen them, protect them and grant them his peace as they sleep and recover to face each new day.

Today’s prayer:

Dear Lord, help me to return to you, to wait in your presence, listening, and to look to you for my security and strength this Advent season. Help me to uphold in prayer those in the NHS and other key workers such as care workers, supermarket operatives and delivery staff, postal workers and refuse collectors so that they have the physical, mental and spiritual strength to face each new day. Amen