I leave my study with reluctance, my mind miles away. I am in the middle of editing my latest book, yet I know those mundane household tasks cannot wait. I reach the kitchen, then pause for a moment when I notice how four of my pot plants on our old sideboard nearby are in bloom, despite the neglect they have suffered at my hands.
As I stand admiring them, I remember who gave them to me and when. The lovely salmon pink cyclamen on the right is quite old. It was presented to me after I spoke at a women’s meeting in a church in 2007 or 2008, early on in my writing journey. A friend on the staff there had invited me—and that friend is still part of my little prayer team today. How faithful she has been—and how faithful God has been to me over those years, I realise with a grateful heart.
The pale pink cyclamen on the left has a beautiful, sweet perfume. It was given to me by an old school friend, after one of several occasions when I have spoken to a group of women at her church. Again, another faithful friend I am privileged to have, I realise.
The large peace lily with the tall, white blooms was a gift from our son and his wife and daughters for Mothers’ Day this year. How faithful my family has been too in supporting me, I reflect, as I thank God for them all. As for the little purple and gold primrose (primula acaulis) at the front, I recall how I received it only recently from another friend, after I had presented a three-hour workshop at her writing group. How faithful she too has been in supporting me—how much God has blessed me through all those responsible for giving me my special plants!
Jobs completed, I eventually return to my desk. I glance at my Bible lying beside my laptop and realise I have forgotten to take time that morning to reflect on the things God has to say to me from it. I take up from where I left off last time—Zechariah 4 in the Old Testament. I come to verse 6 and read:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
These words in themselves are so powerful, reminding me how God is the one who enables me to achieve things in my writing and speaking journey and that I am not to rely on my own strength and ability, forgetting God in the process. But they mean far more than that to me too. In an instant, I am back in our old church on the day a visiting speaker gave this verse to me in 1995, before I began studying at theological college. For years, throughout my time at college and on into ministry, I carried this verse, written on a scrap of paper, in the back of my Bible. I recall now how many times I turned to that scrap of paper and read those words and how they spurred me on, reminding me God’s Spirit was with me and in me, whatever was happening around me.
God is so faithful, I reflect with thankfulness. God is so, so faithful—and always will be!