The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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Philippians 4:9 (NIV)
“And whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Just before I went up to Edinburgh I was talking with someone else who was going there. “Which hall of residence are you in?” she asked. Panic!! I had not received any notice of getting into hall. It later turned out that I had slipped up and not sent in the appropriate form. So now with term starting in just a couple of weeks I was in deep trouble. Thankfully the University had a set up of emergency accommodation to cover the need and I found myself in an old hall that was just about to be modified. I went to the accommodation office and made my application for somewhere to live and being the passive nice type of person that I am, thought that would be it. It wasn’t. After a few weeks disaster struck a second time. We were told that we had to leave and here I was with nowhere to go. It was only then that I found that the people who received accommodation from this office were the people who camped out at the office every day and were active in the search.
Yet Jesus had a plan in this difficult situation. My situation came up in conversation with my new friends John and Jeremy. John immediately offered for me to stay with him until I got myself sorted out with somewhere more permanent. Since his place was a one room bed sit, it was quite a sacrifice of love, to have some insecure fresher with him night and day for a week or so. While I was staying with him though he took the opportunity to give me a good footing in my relationship with God. We had a devotional time each morning in which we read on a psalm in order to think about who God is, and prayed for each other’s needs -Very simple in some ways and yet just the sort of jump start that I needed. We started doing some basic Bible study. We went through a book’ that was aimed at just where I was spiritually. I was beginning to learn that to grow in this relationship, it was good to engage the brain and think things through. With this book came some verses to be memorised. The verses put in permanent memory the lessons that I had learned, and became an invaluable answer to the doubts and issues that were constantly coming up. I committed to go beyond these five verses and to start memorising verses regularly. Then, to make sure that I did not promptly forget them, John showed me how to review some verses every day. We would exchange cards and on being given the title had to recite the verse and the card with the reference. I believe he encouraged me to read some chapters of the Bible each night as well. So, with these I was set up in a very practical way with the Spiritual disciplines that would take me on for many years to come. They were all the more real because they were a daily shared experience with an older Christian who clearly cared for me and loved God. I am ever grateful to the start I was given then. In the beginning I took on the forms that Jeremy had taught John, and had in turn been passed on to me. In time, I would develop the maturity to branch out and develop my own forms. It is worth mentioning that both Jeremy and John were still students and only a few years older. What they had learnt, they were able to pass on to me. I in turn have been able to pass these same things on to others.
Shortly after, having learnt of the necessity of camping out at the accommodation office, I was offered a flat and able to move out of John’s room. It had not been long, but it had been enough to establish a pattern that could last.