Smoothing out the road.

Isaiah ch. 42 vs 16 “I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” As we met as a leadership team this week, Bryan shared this verse with us and we used it to reflect, pray and praise God for His provision over the past 15 months. When we first moved into a state of pandemic and our first lockdown, I, for one, expected it to last a few weeks not over a year.  We mourned the loss of being able to meet with friends and family. How many celebrations have been put on hold? We have mourned the loss of people close to us due to the impact of this pandemic….. and yet…. over the past months I have recognised the power of the word yet. In this verse the Lord states that He will not forsake His people, He will brighten their darkness and He will smooth out the road ahead. As I reflect upon the months that have passed, we have learnt so much. In some respects, we were initially blind as to how to continue to fellowship without the use of the building. Over these months we have worshipped in different ways;  we are in more regular contact with each other and God has brought us into a new level of fellowship. He has shown us new ways, to be honest, we all acknowledge that Zoom has its limitations but I have been so encouraged to see so many of your smiling faces over these past months and I praise God that He has graced us with His presence and spoken to us through these meetings. As we look forward to ‘Freedom Day’ this brings concerns too. There is an ever-increasing incidence of COVID. The North-East yet again is taking an unwelcome lead in this! Many of us will be understandably nervous about meeting together and keeping each other safe as we prepare to open our building and move back into physically fellowshipping with one another. Let’s claim this verse together: Pray that God will open our eyes to see His plan, that we will not be blind to His leading; let us put our trust in Him that He will smooth out the road ahead for us and look forward with anticipation to the new adventure He is taking us on. Ali