The Lord is our help forever | Revd Mike Coe | January 2023

What’s in your personal ‘review of 2022’? There will be highlights - memorable holidays, time with family and friends, weddings, new arrivals. But there will be lowlights as well - bereavements, health issues, broken relationships, financial worries, global concerns. 

In the same way, entering 2023 is like walking into a darkened room which full of ‘stuff’. Some is good, some is bad, but we don’t know the what, where, when or how of its impact on us. And that can fill us with fear & trepidation.

In Psalm 124, David refers to a recent experience of tough times which he likens to facing a terrifying monster or being in the midst of a raging flood or being helplessly trapped in a hunter’s snare.

Does he just quake with terror? No, he turns to God for help! Because he knows however terrifying the situation is, God was in the midst of it with Him and had the definitive way forward for him, and David encourages us all to do the same!

This time last year I was back at work after time off for stress. It was an incredibly difficult time and I wish it had never happened. But as I look back I'm thankful for it because God taught me vital things about my life & my ministry that I couldn't have learnt any other way. As a direct result I believe I’m a better Christian, family member and vicar. Many times I prayed for God to change everything and to be back to ‘normal’ in an instant. But if that had happened, and God could have done it, I would have missed important lessons that He needed me to learn. Having faced the fear of being overwhelmed I can more truly say ‘if the Lord had not been on my side I would have been swept away.’

So as we enter 2023 with whatever lies ahead of us let's encourage each other with the words of Psalm 124:8 - “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

Revd Mike Coe
Vicar of All Saints, Ilkley
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