So, at last we are happy. Supposedly, we have got it all together. Our God is very much a part of our life and involved in everything we are doing. We follow our daily scripture readings and we try and be the person we believe we were created to be. Shall we say, ‘all is rosy with God in the garden.’

But then something changes. Something happens around us that changes our way of life. While it may only prove to be temporary, nevertheless our thought processes change. We are jolted out of our comfort zone into some serious decision making or definite changes in our pattern of living.

We can often find ourselves relying on the need to make our own decisions without even considering the trust we would normally have in assistance from our God. Prayer becomes a distant pastime as we wrestle with our own immediate thoughts and actions.

A similar situation to that the Apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to the Romans can sometimes easily happen to us. He stated, I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate. The good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want — that is what I do.” If this was Saint Paul’s experience, then we can take heart and confidently say there is still hope for us.

When these times occur and we find we have thrown our prayer life out the window and God is a distant figure in the background, I find it is best to revert to the simple basics. Go into the garden, or under a tree and just breathe. After a while we can come to realise each breath, we take in, the life-giving oxygen we inhale, is God’s love for us. It is what is keeping us alive. As we breathe out, we slowly dispose of our fears. The only prayer we need to repeat is ’Come Holy Spirit.’

Paul tells us, “where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side.” Let us be encouraged and learn to trust our God from these experiences. While we need to be vigilant of the evil forces trying to entrap us, we should also know our God is a God more interested in loving us than rapping us over the knuckles for our wrongdoings.

In the wash up, I think our God will be happy that we tried to be good, although not always succeeding. We can only just keep hangin’ in there my friends and know that we are being loved through both the good and the difficult times.

I’m Peter Mack and that’s faith.

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