There is a worrying amount to do before September. It’s very tempting to just stick my head in the sand but I’ve done that enough already. When I finally dare to take my head out of the sand I always worry that I’ll be surrounded by paperwork. Fortunately, it’s mostly under control. But try telling that to the part of my brain that likes to panic…
So how good it is to have a hymn that reminds me of the wondrous story – the story of Christ, who died for me.
In the version I’m currently looking at (different versions seem to split the verses up differently), verse 2 is probably my favourite:
“I was lost, but Jesus found me,
found the sheep that went astray,
raised me up and gently led me
back into the narrow way.
Days of darkness still may meet me,
sorrow’s path I oft may tread;
but His presence still is with me,
by His guiding hand I’m led”
It’s a reminder that God’s always been there. A reminder that Jesus reaches out to help – He is not distant. And a reminder that He will always lead me, no matter what the circumstance.
The beginning of Isaiah 43 sums this up pretty well. It starts off, in verse 1, saying “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” This links very well with the line “I was lost, but Jesus found me”. And then Isaiah 43:2-3 sums up the rest of the verse pretty well.
But of course I enjoy the whole hymn. The wonder expressed in the repeated lines of “Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story/Of the Christ who died for me” helps to remind me of my salvation. And my privilege to share that with others.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” – 2 Peter 1:5-7
Another occasion here where I’ve ended up looking at something pretty hard-hitting in the pursuit of making cushions. With a little bit of wider context, this is Peter’s challenge to Christians – to help us grow “active and effective in [our] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. And that’s pretty important to Peter. By verses 12-15, he’s making plans to keep reminding those he’s writing to about this, even once he’s dead.
This is a particularly challenging passage for me. Peter is reminding us that despite God’s grace, and His gift of faith, we can’t just rest on our laurels. And Paul makes that point several times as well, including in Philippians 3:14 (“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”) and 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever”) – even in just these two examples, we can see that Paul is urging us to continue striving, rather than just staying put.
Making a cushion with a Bible verse on it is probably not the best way of following Peter’s advice. That said, I hope it will prove useful when I need to be reminded of it. Especially when I’ve pushed it to the bottom of the agenda because of things that don’t really matter.