"...no thoughts to share..."

On social media, suffering, and the Spirit.

Huw Williams | 13:54, Friday 19 September 2014 | Turin, Italy 

I heard Jeremy Paxman give an interview recently where he launched into a marvelous polemic against social media, beginning with "I have no thoughts that I wish to share with everybody..." I can relate to that - and more so as I get older - I certainly find that I have fewer and fewer.

"I have no thoughts that I wish to share with everybody..."

And so as I reflect on the last week of long hours in the hospital, many of which were spent peering through the side of an incubator at my new-born baby, Paxman's words come back to me - I have no desire to share my thoughts and feelings on the internet.

Save perhaps one. A couple of weeks ago I preached on Jonah 2, and how it is possible to be filled with joy even in the belly of a fish. Jonah learned that the secret of true, unshakeable joy wasn't in our circumstances (which constantly change) but in the character of God (who remains good and loving all the time).

I still believe that and I wouldn't take back a single word I said, but there were times in the last ten days when I more than wobbled. Understanding the theology is relatively easy, applying the truth of the good news of who God is when we go through dark nights, is not so straightforward. It strikes me that this is one of the many reasons why we need the help of the Spirit - to strengthen and comfort us when we suffer, and to teach us to speak wisely and with understanding when it is those around us who are called to do so.

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