A concept from the National Principals Conference back in May I have been ‘pondering’ over lately is God’s ‘favour’, which was shared with us on the final day by Peter Steicke. As a result of who we are and our relationship with God, we live ‘in’ God’s favor. We are loved and accepted and blessed. I just wonder how aware we are of this on a daily basis.
It made me think about those times I have truly been aware of God’s favor. I would have to say it’s usually when I was in a less than positive situation, either professionally or personally. It was always when I could no longer rely on my own resources to find a way through the situation!
I remember two extremely challenging times when I could see no way out of either of these situations. One was totally unexpected, the other had been a long hard battle and I could see no future. God’s favour took the form of ‘angels’ in the shape of a friend I had not been in contact with for a while and other professionals and colleagues. The message was: “Look up (in the hardest times) and expect God’s favour”.
I cannot tell you the impact this message had on me. Things changed, not overnight and it was not easy, but the seemingly dead end and black hole had a new dawn and new opportunities, because I was reminded that I live in God’s favour. I could be calm.
My biggest problem was that I thought that I needed to find a solution on my own, rather than remembering to ‘look up’ and expect God’s favour. Time and time again I can see example after example of situations where I need to demonstrate ‘humility’. No, I can’t sort this one out on my own. Yes, this is horrible but I know that I live in God’s favour.
It doesn’t stop unpleasant things from happening such as falling over and fracturing your shoulder (my latest challenge!), or serious illness or job loss or (fill in the gap)! We need however to put down our umbrellas of self-sufficiency, fear, despair, or those filled with lies that we choose to believe: “I’m not good enough, smart enough, lovable enough, Christian enough, worthy to have any of God’s favour.”
When we put those umbrellas down, God is able to change us by pouring favour on us.
That’s what Jesus demonstrated and talked about time and time again. No one can make themselves good or smart enough for God. You are not your job, your school, your postcode, your wealth, possessions, your past or your diagnosis, but because we are children of God, loved and valued, we can confidently expect favour in all circumstances!
Ephesians 3:20-21 The Message (MSG)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Educational Leadership Director