Dear Friends,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3 v 5-6

I first came across these words shortly after I bought my first Good News Bible, back in 1976, when that edition first came out. As a poverty-stricken student I bought the paperback copy at £1.50 as I couldn’t afford the extortionate £3.50 for a hardback copy.  I had had a faith all my life, but it was around that time that my faith took a step forward, and this new translation of the Bible was a real gift in helping me to read and understand more of the Christian story in terms of its relevance to my life.  A friend told me “If you read three pages a day, you can get through the whole Bible in a year!”  And I did, though it probably took about an extra month because I didn’t quite manage to read it everyday.  And I have never managed to repeat it.

I still have that Bible, now very tatty, stuck together with sellotape, but kept because it marks such a significant part of my journey of faith.  Looking in it I see many verses underlined which struck me as I read them, including the verses above from Proverbs 3.  Such wise words, and yet so easy to forget or ignore.  

When we are caught up in the problems life gives us, whether big or small, our brains go into overdrive as we try to work our way through, looking for the best solution.  We come at it from a human perspective, and not only do we try to solve our own problems that way; we also tend to want to tell others how they should solve theirproblems.  

But God tells us to trust him.  FAITH can stand for Forward All Issues to Heaven.  Not as a last resort when we have run out of our own resources, but as soon as we know we need his guidance.  That guidance can come in different forms – in the words of a friend we know and trust, in the pages of the Bible, or a remembered verse that comes to mind, or in that quiet sense of conviction that comes from your own heart.  God is to be found in all of these, but he can only speak if we listen.  

Prayer can be talking to God, but it can also be holding up to him the problems we face, or the person who is in great need, sitting quietly, and letting him speak to us, making sure we turn up to listen! God is faithful and longs for us to turn to him with our concerns.  Like any good friend, he says “Let me help.”

Let’s think about it in today’s society. Nowadays, any problem and you hear the words “I’ll Google it.”  Within minutes (or even seconds!) you have the email address you need, or the opening time for that shop, or the price of something you are considering buying.  No one needs to suggest you do it – it comes as second nature to turn straight away to your smart phone or computer.  I read this today:

Faith is like Wi-Fi; it’s invisible, but it has the power to connect you to what you need.  

Can we learn to turn to God as quickly as we turn to broadband?  Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He’s been around a lot longer, and you will never have to pay for an upgrade. 

                                                                                          Sister Dorothy