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  • Neil Stokes

Full circle.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,

but it is theLord’s purpose that prevails

Proverbs 19:21

Have you ever been through a situation where you were looking forward to something, and then over a period of time its all gone pear shaped and you find yourself back where you started?


The Stokes family have been on what I can only describe as an emotional rollercoaster over the past five months. In the words of Vinnie Jones, "Its been emotional."


Now, this isn't a pity party or anything like that. I want to look at how we as mere human beings process what goes on in life, and more specifically processing what happens to those closest to us. I have witnessed my daughters and wife get excited at the prospect of moving house, starting something fresh, in new circumstances, not once, but twice. And then being let down through means outside of our control. Twice.


Which is where we find ourselves back at square one, where we originally were. I have asked the questions, I have had a moan, and yes, I even got stroppy at God. Why, if it all seemed right what we were doing the first time, did it change in the space of 24 hours and then deteriorate in such a way that people got hurt? Why allow that to happen?


Then, when in this new situation, it all looked good and rosy and that it was looking up, did it once again change in the space of 24 hours? And yes, people were hurt again.


Is it because we weren't being obedient to God and His plan? Were we not listening to the Holy Spirit enough? Were we too busy looking after number one instead of looking out for others? The answer I feel is...who knows? Well, God does. He understands. He is aware of how we feel. And He cares.


Does God really, and I mean really care about us moving house? Surely He has better things to do than make sure we move house...doesn't He? I mean, the reason we chose to move house in the first instance was because it seemed the better option at a specific time to help someone out in a time of need, to go beyond us to help out. Surely that isn't a bad reason?


Surely He cares about that?


But then, over these past few weeks and months I have really felt that the mystery of God is that - a mystery - and those that come close to Him will have it revealed to them over time. I am sure that in the future we will look back on this time and see that we have grown from it, learnt from it, and actually it wasn't that big of a deal in the first place.


We have been here before as a family, not really understanding what was going on. But five years later, we look back and see what God has done, which gives me confidence in what He will do. That is the mystery of God revealed to us, just like the apostle Paul writes in the letter to the Ephesians.


God cares about everything that we do. He wants the best for us. But if a house falls through, is that God's doing, or just one of those things? I err towards 'its just one of those things' because we live a life here on earth doing things that we strive for and do. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Some are good, some are bad. And it is within each and every thing that we do where we just stick to Him and try and make every decision that we make, every thought that we think, and every action that we do, glorify God.


The mystery is His. Whether we are back at square one or not doesn't really make a difference in that our attitude and outlook doesn't get eroded with hurt feelings or pain, but allows us to live and learn to take on another day.


Thats the picture God is painting with you. And you, you are a masterpeice in the making...



We have missed out on three months of decorating. I have a feeling that the next few weeks are going to be wall to wall painting and wallpaper...

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