EXTON to SOUTH HARTING
The Archangel Gabriel at St Mary & St Gabriel in South Harting is an extraordinary piece of art. It was a private commission in memory of a lost young life.
Extract from Reflections Journal Tuesday 15th August 2017
I was really impressed by Chris’s resilience today. The boots he had been given for this walk had not worked out very well for him on the first day. They were very firm, and he was struggling with blisters on both feet. He was also finding that his shoulders were quite sore from carrying his rucksack, but he didn’t complain about it at all. We ditched the boots and Chris wore my walking sandals instead which gave him some much needed relief, and we walked at a more leisurely pace, taking regular breaks through the day.
Resilience in faith is an important aspect of a Christian life. In a world that can often challenge us resilient faith is what gets us through the troubles and enables us to come through stronger. At the heart of resilience is the ability to hold on to Jesus through the most difficult times. Without resilience, we tend to rely on ourselves or look to worldly solutions and always come up short.
In his letter to the church in Rome Paul writes;
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
I wonder if you have ever met a Christian who appears to have a ‘survival faith’. They seem to lurch from problem to problem, just about making it out of one situation only to find themselves in yet another. There seems to be no growth in their faith – just survival. When we rely on the world or ourselves we are drawn to seek a quick fix or an instant ‘out’ from the problems we are facing. Paul encourages us to recognise that often the best way through our troubles is to persevere. We stand firm on what we believe. We trust in God and hold on to hope. This is ‘resilient faith’.
When we journey through the difficult days of life and we don’t grow through it, we miss the opportunity of glorifying God.
In Ephesians 3, Paul writes,
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”