Being unsettled and feeling restricted is a new feeling that many of us are now beginning to cope with as we move forward into the first full week of tighter restrictions, and almost all children being away from school. It is a time for adjusting to the ‘new normal’ for a while and really taking a look at the patterns of our lives… do we do things just because we always have? Do we need to review our rhythms and patterns? Has dross and waste slipped into to the way we live without us even realising it?

These are good questions to consider as we begin to think about the weeks ahead, but not just in physical or practical terms. We can and should think about this in terms of our spiritual journey too. The nature of the change we face as churches and communities will make us look hard at what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it… and as I discovered today that can be very unsettling for some, leading to heightened feelings of anxiety and loss of control.

Yet, these words from Psalm 121, verses 3-4, offer us comfort in times of change especially when we can question all that is around us, including our spiritual walk and discipleship. The psalmist says

“He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.  He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

God is above all that we see, greater than all we experience and more powerful than anything that will come across our paths. Lay all your hope and trust in Him, whilst our feet are firmly bound to the earth lift your eyes heavenward and know that God is always watching over you.

Remember that although much of what we know may seem so foreign through the lens of new circumstances and practices the words of Psalm 121 remind us of, and draw us back to Psalm 46, take heed of their words and cast your anxiety, worry and struggles on Him who “will no let your foot be moved”… Psalm 46 says

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.God is within her, she will not fall;  God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us;  the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says,

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.