It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post but I have a very good excuse. Last time I wrote to you all, I mentioned my life had become busier (in a good way). Well now it’s EVEN BUSIER! Thank you to all those who prayed for me and to the lord who provides because I now have a job!! It’s been tough on my feet but the staff are easy to get on with and due to the variety in my job role, I don’t get bored. It’s also very good pay which will help in my fundraising for September. Other than getting used to my new part-time job, the past week I have been helping out at my church’s holiday club that’s run annually in the summer for primary school aged children. This year the club had a space adventure theme and I was team Apollo’s assistant leader. I had a great time singing and dancing with the children who all seemed to want to sit with me during the talky-bits. As much as I loved the attention, I was exhausted afterwards! One of the songs at holiday club is called the ‘memory verse’ – a single bible verse that they learn to a melody during the week. This year the bible verse was Proverbs 3:5 which reads “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. The reason I’m telling you this is because something quite ironic happened.
For 3 of the 4 days of holiday club, I thought the memory verse wasn’t something the children would understand and was pointless, maybe even wrong, to be doing at such an early age. I thought this because of what I had learned in my psychology A level about children’s psychological development and learning, but also the obvious difficulty of the language in the verse. Firstly, the order of “lean not” would be difficult for the younger children at the club to grasp – and, secondly, so would the abstract concept of “leaning” on something non-physical such as “understanding”. Thirdly, that sort of complex thinking only begins to occur around the age of 11 – the oldest kids at the club – who didn’t seem to want to join in with any of the singing and dancing anyway. All this caused me to perceive the repeating of the song as a meaningless string of words to a tune that I thought was being imposed on the children – who couldn’t seem to keep up. However, before you start thinking I’m criticising the holiday club, something very different happened on the fourth day. As if something just clicked, all the children were singing and doing the actions perfectly (Yes, even the 11 year olds!). Furthermore, in the team meetings before and after each day of holiday club, testimonies were shared from parents who had explained that their children were going home singing the verse and did know what it meant! I was astonished!
And then I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit.
“Trust in the Lord. With all of your HEART. And lean NOT on your own understanding.” – I was humbled.
In that moment God reminded me that He will do, what He will do. The organisers of Holiday Club had trusted Him with their hearts, where I had leant on my own understanding. Forgive me.
In other news, yesterday I had the privilege of visiting the British Museum where I was led on a tour of the historical evidence for Genesis! The tour guide was an old friend of my parents, who we joined with some of his team for dinner in Chinatown. We discussed SO many interesting archaeological findings which I feel I wouldn’t be able to do much justice to in this post. But instead, I will recount a few things that stuck out to me personally.
- The evidence supporting the truth of the Bible has been known for a long time – despite lots of people saying they don’t believe due to a lack of evidence, it is more often than not, an attitude of their heart that is stopping them from receiving God’s truth. A bad life experience, an insecurity, guilt/shame/pride …the list goes on. Apologetics should never be used as the main form of evangelism but instead for setting the table up for a heartfelt conversation, or clearing up the loose ends after one. After all, Jesus never walked around sharing evidence. He went from person to person, from place to place, loving them. Even His miracles were used to love and bless people, not to prove Himself.
- I was aware of the Holy Spirit at work in my life, but not as aware as I am now. One of the things that struck me about my tour guide is that he acted more than most on the whispers of the Spirit. One example of this was actually a time he didn’t listen to the Spirit but it illustrates my point well: All day he had been carrying around a bag packed with stone tool artifacts to show us at some point. Unfortunately, we didn’t get time to see them. When he generously decided he was giving my family a lift back to the station, he was packing his bags in the car boot and he said that when he was leaving in the morning, the Spirit had told him not to bring the tools, but he argued and wanted to bring them anyway. As he was packing them, he said jokingly that the Spirit was saying “okay, but you’ll be lugging them around all day”. This incident along with many other mentions of the Spirit reminded me that the presence of the Spirit isn’t something meant only for high times of worship, but as a daily guide and tool that God has intended us to live with day to day in all our everyday tasks. I think I had forgotten that to an extent and seeing someone living so naturally in His presence opened my eyes to all the Spirit was already doing in my life – and how much better my life would be if I listened more.
- Lastly, I shouldn’t be afraid of claiming there is strong evidence for the Old Testament stories. Recently I have been quite loud about the evidence for the New Testament and then shied away when it came to the Old Testament. All I really came up with on my own is that Jesus often referred to the O.T. and therefore if we can validate the resurrection with historical evidence (which we can), we can trust that the O.T. stories must also be true. I think this is a good argument but from my visit to the museum and also hearing stories of various excavations and evidence coming to light, the O.T has enough historical evidence to stand on its own. I bought a book and was very kindly gifted another by the tour guide’s organisation which contains all the most relevant and significant published findings available.
Lastly, preparations for Soul Survivor Festival 2019 are well underway, and I feel like a giddy little girl with all this excitement. I have a feeling it’s going to be a year to remember for many people. Next time I write to you, I will be back from the festival and boy am I going to have a lot to talk about! Until then…