I’m sure you have said or thought this many times. As the holiday season starts-getting away literally can provide us with the space of open sea or mountain vistas, when we can leave behind the everyday concerns of work and day to day demands. It can help us gain a fresh perspective on our lives and bring a renewed sense of purpose. However, for some going away on holiday and finding such space is out of the question. It’s too expensive or circumstances prevent them from having such a time. Housing costs and general cost of living increases means many are living in very restricted space and they are limited in what they can afford to do.
There are seasons in all our lives when we can feel restricted by the situations we face or demands that are almost too much to bear and we just long for some space. In the book of Psalms David speaks of his sense of confinement and God bringing him into a ‘spacious place’. “He brought me into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Ps 18v19) “I will be glad and rejoice in your love…You have not given me into the hands of my enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.”(Ps 31v7-8) ‘Spacious’ suggests broad in scope, a place full of opportunity and possibility. Can we find a ‘spacious place’ whatever our circumstances, when things are closing in on us? The apostle Paul reminds us in Christ there is such a freedom- “So spacious is he, so roomy that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.” (Col 1v19 Message version) Yes it’s good to find open spacious places to relax but also to realise that a deeper sense of spaciousness is found in relationship with Christ.
Creating space for others is important too. Recently I attended some ‘Open Space’ sessions and was impressed with the way it provided a space for diversity, yet inclusivity when discussing an issue. So often people can feel threatened or afraid when such spaces are offered, where there is no tight agenda. It was interesting to see however, new ideas emerging with the potential to bring change.
This week is Refugee Week and you may have seen recent images of the overcrowded boat with 100’s of asylum seekers on board with many drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. Millions of migrants worldwide are desperately seeking a ‘safe space’ where they can settle and bring up their families. Let’s be mindful of this and support all who are seeking a safe space.
Yes we all need space!
Paul Lancaster, Hope for the Nations