On Monday March 15th My Beloved and I led our Bible study on session 3 of the York Lenten Course which focussed on Psalm 13. The Psalmist was obviously going through difficult times as he felt God had forgotten him and felt overwhelmed by his circumstances, when God was silent. However he did not completely despair as he still expressed his hope in God’s steadfast love, when he remembered God’s past blessings to him. We learnt in our group discussions the importance of prayer for each other’s needs. I find that helpful with my prayer partner.
We shared times when God had seemed distant from us and how we managed to cope and how prayer helped us; the support of Christian friends; our church families. It is not always easy for us to express hope as the psalmist did, but most of us did hang on until we recognised God was still with us. We had often heard God speaking to us in the Bible, through friends or even other signposts. I always remember my father’s picture of a poster with a signpost on it, which had, as I remember, confirmed his call to serve him in Yorkshire.
Some people had apparently given up reading the psalms as they felt there was too much whingeing or anger expressed. My father was an Anglican priest and he and my mother read morning and evening prayer together, but missed out, what they called ‘the cursing verses’ from the psalms they read. The lectionary also selected verses from the psalms for the set readings. Yet the psalms express raw emotions and we too know God can take our anger and frustration as the psalmists did. God knows us better than we know ourselves.
I know I feel better when I chat to God about what I am feeling and thank him for what he has done for me in the past; I do feel frustrated about the way the marginalised and poor seem to be put down more and the rich seem to get richer and tell God how I feel. I pray but feel powerless to make a difference but I bring all my concerns to God. I know when life was hard I found it difficult to pray and a lady vicar who helped me told me not to worry but just to come as I was to God; she was right and I could eventually find the words I needed. This study helped us all to share how God had helped or guided us.
On Wednesday Cathy came to help me with my sorting whilst the extension was being built. It was helpful to have her expertise in sorting. We cleared a cupboard in the back room and she helped me to select the kitchen items I needed to keep easily accessible. She is very efficient and carried items up into the loft, so she was keeping herself fit too. She was able to sign off more of her Christmas vouchers from my Christmas stocking. Bless her she also popped in on two other occasions to help me sort things out.
On Thursday my prayer partner and I met, which was another support. By Friday the walls of the extension were growing and getting ready for the roof to be added. On Saturday Gordon came in with Stuart to fill in the wall up to the beams of the roof.
On Friday the bad throat which had been getting worse began to develop into a heavy cold. I realised I was not up to being a chauffeur for my elderly passengers on Sunday and rang Molly to tell Sheila that I would not be well enough to go on Sunday. On Saturday I could hardly speak but Skin Sanctuary did not seem concerned if I came for my booked massage. Silvie gave me my massage and I nearly fell asleep as I was not nattering away as I usually do! I just rested when I got home and gradually felt worse and began to stream with the worsening cold. On Saturday night and Sunday morning I had a full blown cold and took the day slowly. I was glad I had warned my passengers to get different transport to church, as I did not want them to catch the flu-like cold. Sunday night I found it difficult to sleep as I kept sneezing and felt rather sorry for myself. I kept myself going with ibuprofen alternating with cocodamol as my cold got worse.