We read in Romans 8:22, that it's groaning while waiting for the restoration that comes with God's Kingdom. And it really feels like it's groaning at the moment as we see ambulances queuing outside hospitals, daily death tolls from Covid rising, and exhausted medics pleading with us to stay at home.
I've just had the privilege of leading a service of thanksgiving for the life of Kate Muammar, a missionary with YWAM whom St Francis have supported for some time and who died in her 50s of cancer. She knew of creation's groaning not only in her own body, but also as she supported those with HIV/Aids, and farmed land in Zambia in the midst of terrible drought. She asked that these words might be read at her funeral: 'I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed in us (Rom 8:18). That glory is revealed in Kate now that she is with the Lord.
But we can do something about it here on earth even as we groan. As we pray for God's Kingdom to come into these situations so the darkness is shifted and there are glimpses of glory to be had even now. What about all this pain? Well, here's what Kate said in words she wrote to be read out at her funeral: 'sometimes God allows us to go through pain in order to understand Him more deeply. The deeper you go with the Lord, the more amazed you become of His goodness. How do I go deeper with God? Simply ask Him. Let Him know you want to. Give Him more time and space in your life. Learn to be still and quiet a bit longer.'
If you'd like to read more of Kate's wisdom, do read the letter she wrote on page 5 & 6, and you can see the service, a tribute to her extraordinary life, on this Zoom link (Cut and paste into your browser): https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/8HI5IEFb9l4TBXDhFRH_O3siMhurXiuPySlLRkVpAJTjXPjh0mjzIwKwd- yp_8pw.0lFndFI0evZV2M7J?startTime=1611237513000
Find the full newsletter here: Newsletter 210120