Weekly Update - 12th February
Dear sisters and brothers
As I sit down to write this week’s letter the snow is lying thick on the ground and falling fast from the sky. I’m glad to be indoors, cosy and warm. But I am alone right now because my family are out enjoying the snow. Many of you may know that Sarah has a particular fondness for snow and the rest of my family have taken after her – so there has been great delight in our house over the last couple of days: snow makes them happy. Last week I had a conversation with someone who told me about the “happy wall” in their home. It is a wall which is covered in favourite photos, pictures and other bits and pieces, and which she changes around from time to time. She told me that she had created it so that every day it would give her a lift: it makes her happy. I thought that was a wonderful idea.
It seems to me that finding things that make us happy, however small, is something that we could all do with right now. In Psalm 42 the writer speaks about having a “downcast soul”, and I’m sure many of us can relate to that. So he chooses to “remember” the good times and remember the God who is the source of all that is good. If God has given us such delight in the past, we can be sure that we will continue to find delight with God in the future.
So what makes you happy: what lifts your downcast soul? Perhaps you need some little project. You could even create a ‘happy wall’, or a ‘happy shelf’. Perhaps it is spending a few minutes each day looking out your window and up at the sky and marvelling at the beauty of creation. Perhaps it is calling to mind blessings from the past and (rather than allowing them to make you melancholy – there’s always a danger of that) giving thanks to God for those happy times and remembering that your future is secure in Jesus. It will be a future of joy and peace. We mustn’t try to ignore or bury our sadness, or the fact that we can have days when our souls are downcast. Acknowledging that we’re struggling both to ourselves and to God is important: this is what the Psalmist is doing in Psalm 42. In doing so we are opening ourselves up to the comfort that God would bring us. But this week I want to encourage you to also find something that brings you a little happiness and deliberately make it part of your day – everyday.
One of the things which helps me is taking part in the daily prayers every-day at 12 noon. If you haven’t yet joined us on the phone, or on YouTube, or even simply by sitting down with the book of prayers at 12 noon each day, then I would encourage you to do that as well (the booklets are available from me). More details are in the enclosed notices sheet as always. I’ve also enclosed the words for this Sunday’s service.
If I can be of any help, especially with the weather adding to life’s challenges, please do not hesitate to contact me. I’m sure Sarah would send her love if she wasn’t out making snow men and snow angels!
May you know the joy of the Lord always,
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West
Tel. 01224 686929
Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587