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  • Catherine Dalziel

The Shed (Part 2) (11-05-2021)

Readings

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:1-6)


For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)


Thought

How good are you up ladders? Me, I’m not great. I’m happiest having my two feet firmly placed on the ground. This has, in the past, caused me a few problems when I have been decorating, but the real advantage of living in an old cottage is that we have very few high ceilings, so when I’ve been decorating I’ve been able to use a fairly small step ladder when needed, rather than anything taller, most of the time.


Mum’s shed is about eight feet tall at its apex, so recently, when I was painting its back wall, I needed to use her step ladder in order to reach the two bits of wood that are fixed along the edge of the roof. This gave me the reach that I needed but did not give me sight of the top of the bits of wood. I was aware that the bits of wood were next to the roof covering and I did not want to get paint on the roof itself. What I did was to get a piece of card from an old box and place that behind the piece of wood so that I could paint with confidence along the top even though I could not actually see what I was doing. The piece of cardboard provided me with both a guide of where to paint and also protection from painting the roof. The outcome was very successful, not one bit of paint went on the roof and the top of the pieces of wood were nicely covered.


We are told in 2 Corinthians that ‘we live by faith and not by sight’. This is not always easy to do, for we are much more confident when we can see clearly what we are doing. However in Hebrews we are reminded that ‘faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see’. In order to live by faith and not by sight we have to be confident in what it is that our faith is all about, we need to know who it is that we have faith in and what we are hoping for. When painting the top of the shed, I knew that the piece of card would guide me and protect the roof and that gave me the confidence to apply the paint, even though I could not see what I was doing. As Christians we can have complete confidence in God, who, if we let him, will guide us and protect us, even when we cannot see the way forward. For like Paul in his letter to Timothy we are able to say that ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day’ (2 Timothy 1:12). With this knowledge we can indeed live by faith and not by sight.


Prayer (Jenny Hewer)

Father, I place into Your hands

the things that I can’t do.

Father, I place into Your hands

the times that I’ve been through.

Father, I place into Your hands

the way that I should go,

for I know I always can trust You.

Amen


Song: By Faith - Keith & Kristyn Getty - YouTube





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