This week I flew over to Holland to be with my mother; she will soon be 85 and I hadn’t seen her since August. We’re praising God for the steady progress she’s been making since her last stroke, so much that the medical staff are now talking about her going back to live in her own home again. I’m sure it was no coincidence that, after I’d booked my ticket for Holland, I was invited to participate in the European Prayer Breakfast in Brussels. Jacek Matlakiewicz drove over to Holland so we could go together. It was an amazing experience! More that ever before I realised that the Lord, in the way only He can, places people who love and follow Him with all their heart in strategic and influential positions. The main speaker was Andre Rouvoet, the Dutch Deputy Prime Minister, who shared about the aspirations of so many east European citizens who long for freedom, while here in our comfortable democracies in the west we have taken so much for granted. He then continued to spell out to all of us the responsibilities that come with freedom, quoting many times from Paul: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13). From every angle and using many practical illustrations he stressed how we are to take our responsibility seriously in politics. It was a privilege to interact with a number of them, personal details were exchanged and only the Lord knows what will come out of this.
One more evening with my mother: We talked today over lunch about the time I left home at 19 to study at the Bible College of Wales in Swansea, Wales – she realised that I might never come back into her life again if I went from there to some far flung place in the world. This made me think about the two amazing women in my life, Mama and Chris, my wife, and how they have been willing to make the sacrifice to let me go. It’s a challenge to reflect if we are willing to release people – sons, daughters, leaders – into the further purposes of God. Are we willing to let go of things we feel we have a right to, such as ministry, churches, positions? It’s the women in my life who probably challenge me most – not forgetting my radically-minded daughter!!.
Tomorrow I will catch the early plane from Amsterdam to go for a long weekend to Szczecin. I will keep you posted.