Trainee Hannah Prior responds to this question
It’s been a strange and unprecedented time for us all. It’s great to know that God is in control no matter what our external circumstances and that He continues to work for His glory and our ultimate good. Here in Paris, whilst life has not been without its challenges, it’s encouraging to know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).
I’ve seen something of that as I’ve been reading the Bible and praying on a regular basis with women from the Perspectives church in Paris-Télégraphe throughout the lockdown and continuing now that the lockdown has ended. But even more I think I can see how the Lord has been at work in my own life.
Our limits, God’s power: I’ve been struck by God’s forgiveness and grace and how easy it is to trust in other things such as my own strength and decision making rather than in Him. For example, the lockdown put huge limitations in place and threw all my carefully laid plans for the spring and summer into a state of uncertainty! I’ve been reminded of how God is in control and how He takes care of His people. He’s the One who is worthy of all our praise, in whom we can rejoice and to whom we can bring our concerns (Psalm 33, Philippians 4.4-7).
God’s grace: Also, I’ve been reminded again of the good news of the gospel, of God’s forgiveness and new life freely available in Christ, that I’m saved by grace and go on by grace (Ephesians 2.8-10, Titus 2:12-14), and that when I fall short of God’s standards, as I inevitably do, I can come back and ask for forgiveness, and God forgives me because of Jesus (1 John 1.8-9). We must never fear turning back to Him. It’s been encouraging to be reminded myself of this and to see how it’s an encouragement to others. I see that it’s God who changes hearts and works in people’s lives in a way that’s unique to Him. It’s a joy and a privilege to be able to serve through pointing other people towards Him.