Like a lighthouse

Like a lighthouse is my Lord.
Jesus is the light of the world
and through His word he lightens
my path

He leads me safely home
and guides me through
rough seas,
and storms.

I had for a while wanted to start a painting but didn’t know what. So last Friday, on my day off I asked friends of Facebook. One said Lighthouse, so I started painting one following a YouTube tutorial. I strayed from it a bit as it was actually very difficult to follow what the artist was doing. That’s my excuse! I was really pleased with the lighthouse but the sea was disappointing. It had started off a good mix of dark greeny-blue in the foreground but following the tutorial led to the paler sea. Not sure if it is finished or not, so have asked on an artist’s Facebook group for their opinion.

Lighthouse – is it finished or not?

Opinions from the artists were all very encouraging. Some had clearly not realised what were clouds – not their fault, but my poor ability. I had great plans for this – I would get my husband to photograph it and then I would come up with various versions of writing to overlay. For example, Jesus is the Light of the World. My rock. The poem at the top of the blog was the beginning of something that could have been developed.

I was reminded of a poem that someone had for a funeral a while ago about God being the pilot helping us get safely into harbour. So I thought about writing about that. But didn’t.

However, what is really encouraging and interesting is that on Sunday night I let something upset me. However when I came to morning prayer on Monday I felt that the set psalm (No.27) spoke into my situation. These verses in particular:

The Lord is my light and my salvation –
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life –
    of whom shall I be afraid?

For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

I felt God was on my side and on my case. Also, in the post was a letter from the Bible Society with this printed on the back of the envelope: “You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14) Another coincidence. I did some further meditation on the psalm. I also did a bit of a doodle in my bible.

Yesterday I took some time to pray and reflect on church and ministry here and again felt encouraged by God. I got sidetracked from what I set out to do (reading and reflecting upon a potential series of sermons) into considering Moses and his conversation with God at the burning bush.

Three times God says he will be with Moses in reply to Moses’ excuses after he had already said “Here I am”:

“Who am I?” “I will be with you”
“But, I’ve never been good with words” “I will help you speak and teach you what to say”
“Sorry – send someone else” “What about your brother…… I will help both of you”

So whatever your perceived weakness may be, try having a conversation with God. I hope you will also hear his offer of help. I was reminded that I am not on my own and despite the challenges facing church leaders in these difficult times, He will guide me and lead me, IF I continue to listen out for his voice. Unlike Moses, my weakness isn’t public speaking, but strategy and the challenges of leading a church out of the current situation into the new normal. It is much easier to go with the flow rather than make plans and try to steer the course of change. But I believe God called me here and he knew what lay ahead, the challenges I would face, so I have to trust that he will guide and lead me, teaching me as I go.

Then this morning I opened up my computer and Microsoft had changed the photo to this:

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

Of all the photos it could have been it was a lighthouse. And of all the lighthouse designs it could have been it was one on a rock and a very similar shape and design to mine.

I am still not sure if I will re-work the foreground of my painting and try to make the rock a bit rugged. It isn’t supposed to be a smooth slope. I think I will listen to the advice of the artists and leave it a while. I may come back to it later. But then again I may leave it in its imperfections to remind myself, when I do look back, of the progress I have made….. assuming that if I keep painting I will keep improving.

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