Blessing in dark times
While undergoing treatment for cancer I experienced a recurring dream. There was a tree devoid of its leaves standing by a dried-up stream in an extremely dry and barren landscape. The tree looked dead, but as I looked again, I saw the roots of the tree growing downwards through the hard ground. I knew it had relevance to me and that I was somehow the tree, but I could not work out its significance.
Sometime later I was reading Psalm 1
“Blessed is the one who does not walk-in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
Having cancer was a great spiritual blessing to me. I had been a Christian for many years, but cancer stopped me in my tracks and made me rethink how I was treating God and what part he played in my life. His word became my delight, and I could now see that the tree of my dreams was showing me how much I needed God’s living water to quench and nourish my soul.
Again, in ‘lockdown’ I have felt the need to soak myself in God’s wonderful word and so have been reading ‘The Bible in One Year’ with commentary by Nicky Gumbel. It is something I’ve always been wanting to do but have never found the time or commitment, so coronavirus has been good for me in some ways just like cancer was.
The Psalm finishes with a promise and a warning,
“For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”
If you have a favourite Psalm, or part of a Psalm, then perhaps you would like to write about it for our new blog, whose first theme is the Psalms. You can contact Fernanda Curtis for details, but if you just prefer to read then you can find blogs on our Women Together page on the church website.
We all experience dark times either now globally because of the pandemic or our own personal heartaches so can I encourage you to keep close to Jesus by reading his word and following the ' law of the Lord that we too may be like the tree 'planted by streams of living water'?
By Barbara Roberts
Barbara is a member of St Margaret’s Church and she leads the Women Together ministry. She is married to John. They have 4 children and 11 grandchildren.
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash