Pastor’s Blog June 2016

Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
This verse was given me by two people on the same day at a key moment in my life more than 30 years ago. Over the years I have from time to time reflected on what it says about the way that God leads us. What strikes me most powerfully is that God’s voice is behind us and not in front of us. Over the years I have come to understand that at least in part this verse indicates that God’s leading of us is not so much about being shown the future as trusting him in the present. It’s not a guarantee of a problem free pathway but of God’s ongoing presence and direction on a moment by moment basis.
When Margaret and I responded to God’s call to come to Bramhall, it was not with a sense of our whole future being mapped out but with an awareness that God would be with us. We have recently completed the West Highland Way a 96 mile walk in Scotland. As I reflected on my long experience of walking I realised that most of the navigational mistakes I have made (and there have been many!) were because I didn’t go far enough along the path. Instead I got impatient, lost confidence in the map or in my ability to follow the directions and turned off to soon. This verse assures me that faith keeps walking trusting that at the right moments God will speak and the way will become clear.
When we face challenging times in our lives and the path seems very difficult and we find ourselves stumbling and falling, it is easy to assume that we have taken a wrong turn that God has abandoned us but this is probably not the case. It is much more likely that he is very close to you, watching your every step and encouraging you to keep on going, one step at a time. The genuineness of our faith is often seen in patient perseverance.
God does not always, possibly even rarely, shows us what is ahead but he is faithful and he will be with us in whatever we face, saying, “This is the way walk in it.”

Phil Dixon