Cyril Rollinson was nearing the end of his days. A special anniversary was coming up on his calendar; a time to remember the day he became a Christian as a young boy. He thought to himself, ‘ I would love to go and sit in the little Methodist church in Chapeltown (Sheffield) where I gave my life to Christ all those years ago, and give thanks to my Saviour for His goodness to me.’ He happened to mention this to a friend, then wished he hadn’t. His kind friend said, ‘I’ll take you.’ Cyril didn’t want to offend him, but he really wanted to make this ‘pilgrimage’ alone. Anyway, he continued to pray about it. Not long afterwards his friend came to him apologetically and said, ‘I’m really sorry, but I won’t be able to take you after all.’ Cyril was quietly thankful to God that he could go alone, as he had planned. When the day arrived, he took the train to Chapeltown. But once he had exited the suburban Sheffield station he realised the place had changed and he was lost. He set off walking, but he was going in the wrong direction. As he walked up the road, a car came alongside him. The window was wound down and a voice exclaimed, ‘Cyril Rollinson! What are you doing here?’ He looked into the car to see old friends – a husband and wife he hadn’t seen for years. They asked him what he was doing. He told them. ‘Well’, they said, ‘ you are going in the wrong direction. But we are caretakers at that church, and we’re just going there now to do a couple of jobs. So, hop in and we’ll take you!’ While they carried out their responsibilities, Cyril had the privacy to sit alone in the church sanctuary, and thankfully remember the moment he wept his way to Christ as a very much younger men. Then the caretakers took him for some something to eat, and drove him all the way back to Leeds.
Whenever Cyril told this story he would ask questions like: ‘ What if my friend in Leeds had been able to take me?’ ‘What if I’d got into the station at a different time?’ ‘What if I hadn’t taken the wrong turning?’ You get the drift. (Any other time and the building would probably have been locked.)Then would come the wonderful punchline, ‘His eye is on the sparrow!’
Because our Heavenly Father knows us so well, and watches over us, we can live fear- free lives. The only fear required is the totally appropriate reverential fear of God.
Prayer: thank you Lord for your intimate care of our lives, and the peace we can have because of it.