It’s been a while since I posted . It’s been a busy December as we prepared for our 5th Christmas Lifeshare celebration – a day where we support families in the community by providing a free party with Bouncy Castle, craft, LEGO, Santa’ Grotto and toys, 2 course meal and Christmas hampers to take home. Around 40 – 50 volunteers are involved and between 130-150 adults and children come to enjoy the party. We work with local schools, health visitors, social workers, supermarkets, town and county councils to pull it off.
It’s a real privilege to support families at such a pressured time of year but I was personally struggling in the week before the event. My capacity has been low for a while and I wasn’t sure I had it for the challenges of the week ahead where curve balls can come from any direction. So, I sent a prayer request out to the Antioch community and felt the grace land on me physically – no tantrums or melt downs materialised from me or anyone else!
By the Friday I was wilting again. I had to leave the guys to set up on the Friday as I attended the funeral of a close friend’s mum, which was a special time and on returning to the Centre chip butties for lunch were very welcome. Finishing touches sorted and we were all set for the following day. I was alone so I put on my favourite worship song of the moment “Explode my soul” (I particularly connect with the refrain “Explode my soul, explode with praise, what He promised is what He gave”) and lay down in a particular spot by the hatch in the Main Hall. It’s where we usually have bread and wine and from time to time an angel can be seen standing on that spot.
In yielding to Him I became aware of being surrounded by angels carrying buckets of oil which they then emptied out all over me – a release of fresh oil. As I allowed the oil to soak through me I was reminded of the time I spoke on the parable of the 10 virgins earlier in the year (drew a lot on Brad Jersak’s piece) and the thoughts that to those listening to Jesus oil was symbolic of mercy and to receive fresh oil, to renew your lamp and keep it burning Jesus encouraged us to go into the marketplace and do acts of mercy. Think I was experiencing the reality of that word!
The fruit of that encounter was that I sailed through Saturday, coped with the stressy bits and have felt an increased capacity as I recover. In sharing this I am not advocating doing more when you actually need to rest – there are natural laws that need heeding. But I am grateful for His intervention in supplying what I needed to not simply survive something, but to come through in good grace and experience the joy of a job well done! It is true that blessed are those who are merciful for they shall receive mercy