Steve McGall, our Youth Co-ordinator, is now on the district support team for the Ballymena schools worker and they are looking to strengthen support for the ministry as they look ahead to appointing a new worker this year (Rachel Sheppard moved to a new position in SU after 10 years with E3 Ballymena). Steve is really excited to play a small part in this process because partnering with SU has given him so many opportunities to get into the local schools and to build meaningful connections between them and our church. The number of pupils that SU reaches across primary, secondary and special needs schools in Ballymena is incredible and the impact they have extends to teachers, staff and even family at home as well.
Scripture Union for Northern Ireland
…he said to me. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Towards the end of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian believers we read a powerful, honest and vulnerable statement. Paul declares that he had a thorn in his flesh, something that he was desperate to get rid of, to the point that he pleaded with the Lord to take it from him.
The year 2020 will go down in history as the year of Covid-19. It was a year full of challenges, despair and lament. There were times when I thought to myself ‘okay, enough is enough’ or ‘this is all too much’ or ‘when is this all going to end?’ I wonder if Paul had similar thoughts about the thorn in his flesh. And as Paul cried out in desperation, the Lord responded with, “My grace is sufficient for you”.
One aspect of God’s character is that He is gracious. We have been saved by God’s grace. Therefore, as we live in the reality of the gospel, we can know His sufficient grace in every area of our lives. As we step into 2021, for some of us we will do so with confidence, for others there will be a sense of trepidation, while for others there may be worry and concern about what the New Year may bring.
In considering this verse of scripture, I am reminded of when I was a teenager and a song we used to sing in church. The chorus went like this:
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know, I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
As we approach 2021, may we always be ready to humbly posture ourselves before the Lord. He sees all our cares and concerns and is aware of every situation that we will find ourselves in. God invites us to live in the reality that His grace is sufficient for us throughout the coming year.