November includes one of those ‘pause for thought’ moments. That moment is clothed with silence, marching bands, festival of remembrance, familiar hymns, readings and prayer. Our thoughts are not monochrome. The tragedy of war encompasses the losing of loved ones, broken bodies and scarred minds, orphaned children, widows and the homeless. Our thanksgiving is for those who gave their lives for us and for our futures. Questions abound: what if….? Perhaps the biggest questions are asked of God. Could You not have prevented it? Where were You – what happened to Your compassion, care and power?
It is not wrong to ask the difficult questions that arise from the sudden shifting pattern of life. In these times when perhaps dreams are shattered, plans dismissed or put on hold, when illness changes the whole landscape of life and when the roof caves in on our hopes, when darkness, like November’s shortening of daylight, casts its cold shadow over our happiness…. what next?
Let’s be honest, there are no easy answers – if there were, someone would have come up with them by now. The Bible would certainly not dismiss the very real questions we have; indeed, it would encourage us not to ‘pretend-away’ these things, but to face them honestly. God’s word to us (the Bible) seems to lead us to think about the focus of our relationship with God. In a way, that sounds like a bit of a cop out, but it isn’t – God is wanting to enhance our lives with His love and care in the dark days: to draw us closer and to assure us of the inseparable bond He has with us through Jesus. The deepening experience of His love may not answer all our questions, but we can be assured that they are unable to thrust us beyond the orbit of His love.
We remember in love those for whom ‘The Act of Remembrance’ is deeply personal and for all those caught up in life’s big questions. May God’s unfailing presence with you draw you ever closer to Himself, and may He bless you with love, assurance and peace.
Blessings and Love